On Wednesday (December 6), The New York Giants published a discussion between Carl Banks, Ed Lover and Rakim to “celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop — its impact on sports, fashion and culture.”
During the chat, the veteran radio host took a moment to shout out the God MC, who sat beside him, and emphasized his impact on the evolution of the craft.
“People don’t understand Rakim changed Hip Hop — he’s a game-changer,” he said before listing the culture-shifting contributions of acts such as Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC and LL COOL J. “Rakim changed it because everything became less aggressive.”
“He quieted it down and made us listen as well as enjoy the music, but you listened to what Rakim said, right?” he continued. “If you would do a family tree of Hip Hop and people that came directly from other people, there is no JAY-Z, there’s no Biggie, there’s no Nas. That smoothed-out style of rhyming came from Rakim.”
Check out Ed Lover’s comment below:
Ed Lover says there’d be no JAY-Z, Nas or Biggie without Rakim
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) December 7, 2023
A few years back, the 60-year-old media personality discussed the aforementioned MCs in the context of who they influenced. During a 2021 appearance on VladTV, he recalled a conversation he had with Drake on a plane trip during the star’s early career.
Even back then, the Toronto native aspired to be mentioned alongside some of the culture’s greatest figures like JAY-Z, Nas and The Notorious B.I.G.
“I remember one time I was going to D.C. and I was leaving out of JFK, and I saw Drake!” he remembered. “It was early in his career, before he was this big superstar. He had the mixtapes out and he was bubbling crazy. And it just so happens he was going to D.C. for something and we ended up sitting right next to each other on the plane.
“We had a nice conversation for the 40-minute flight and I asked him: ‘What is your ultimate goal? When you’re done in your career and you’re an OG, how do you want to be remembered?’ And he said: ‘I just want to be remembered in the same breath as JAY-Z, Biggie, Nas, Rakim, [Big Daddy] Kane and all of them.
“And I think for his generation, that’s who he is.”
Ed Lover is no stranger to sharing his stories and opinions on Hip Hop. Earlier this year, he discussed former JAY-Z protégé Amil alongside the likes of Nipsey Hussle and Pop Smoke as artists whose unfulfilled careers could have shifted the game.
Picking up a conversation sparked by Nelly in January, Ed Lover took to Instagram to offer his input about who he felt might be considered the biggest “What If” in Hip Hop.
“Nelly said, hands down, the biggest ‘What If’ in Hip Hop history is The D.O.C. because [he] got hurt after giving us one album, right?,” the radio host started. “So I would say yeah, Nelly’s right about D.O.C. But I would also like to add Nipsey Hussle. I would also like to add Pop Smoke. I would also like to add Amil.
“And I’ma tell you why I’m adding Amil,” he continued. “‘Cause with JAY-Z on the pen game? Amil coulda been something stupid special for sure. So: The D.O.C., Pop Smoke, Nipsey Hussle, Amil. I think those are the biggest “What Ifs” in Hip Hop history.”