It has been almost four years since Rakim released The Seventh Seal on Ra/SMC Recordings. The Long Island, New York legendary emcee has since discussed plans for a fourth solo album, including likelihood that Pete Rock, DJ Premier and most recently, Aaron LaCrate would be producing. This week, speaking with XXLMag.com, Ra updated details on his plans.
“I’m working on an album right now. It feels good,” said the “Paid In Full” writer. I feel like I had a lot of responsibilities with [The Seventh Seal] with everything that was going on and being the album was so late,” he said of the LP, his first in a decade, that was met with less than favorable reviews, including on HipHopDX. “The album I’m working on now,” Rakim continued, “I can have fun in the studio and do good Hip Hop songs, so I’m kind of having fun with this one. I’m only a few songs deep.”
Rakim again mentioned DJ Premier, whom he worked with on 1999’s The Master, but also alluded to another hit-maker who’s worked with lyricists such as Jay Z, Jadakiss and Clipse in Pharrell.
The former 4th & Broadway Records star continued, “We also working on a couple of anniversary albums to put out—[some] of the old music that made me who I am today.” However, Rakim added that the “we” does not appear to include longtime 1980s and early 1990s partner, Eric B.
“[Eric B. is] not my enemy but we don’t really speak,” said Rakim of his longtime deejay, producer and onetime manager. “I don’t wish him no bad luck, but I don’t call him. Nah, nah, [no new music]. I guess Eric B., with what we went through…I’m a loyal dude, and you know doing certain things, especially when you are breaking bad with people, you gotta keep it 100 with that person. And it was a couple things in business that I felt that he didn’t handle right that left a real bitter taste in my mouth.”
Recording together between 1986 and 1992, Eric B. & Rakim, as the group was known, separated to focus on solo ventures. Rakim pursued a solo career, while Eric also released a solo LP, in addition to working in film and radio. In late 2010, the duo appeared together publicly for the first time in years, to accept an induction into the Long Island Music Hall Of Fame.
Speaking with DX prior to the ’10 ceremony, Eric B. stressed that and Rakim have no problems: ” I walked away from music 15 years ago, and decided to business, I left Eric B. & Rakim and let Rakim do whatever he wanted to do. It was 15 years ago. A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Eric, I hear you and Rakim got a beef?’ ‘A beef?’ I say, ‘First of all, let me explain something to you. From day one, we split every dime 50/50. I paid for all the studio time. Our first show we ever did, we got $1,500 to play in Long Island. Rakim said, “Yo Eric, you paid for all the studio, the cars, this and that. You gotta get your money back.” I said, “If we gonna be partners, we gonna be partners.” From 24 years ago to today, we split every dime 50/50. Number two, the name of the group, Eric B. & Rakim, was made up by Rakim. Number three, we never slept with the same women. So what problems we got?’ If you listen to all that other, back-and-forth, childish shit [you are] mistaken; we don’t have no problems.”
Real the full Rakim interview at XXLMag.com.
RELATED: Eric B: Election Day [2010 INTERVIEW]