Rakim Readies Long Awaited New, Solo Album

By Allen Starbury  |  07/14/2009

RakimRakim is a legend in hip-hop, but he's been absent from the scene for quite some time. That's all gonna change this fall, when the release of a new, long awaited solo album hits stores called The Seventh Seal, reports Billboard.com.

The seal represents the seals from the Bible says the rapper -- Revelations and the coming of the apocalypse. After the devastation, God is supposed to re-build. Rakim is applying that to modern day hip-hop, which he plans to rebuild.

"After the Apocalypse, God rises from the ashes to re-create the Kingdom, taking only the greatest elements from the past with them," the rapper explained in a recent interview with Billboard. "When you look at hip-hop, I want to do that: to spit fire and take our best from the ashes to build our kingdom; to recognize all the regional styles, conscious lyrics, the tracks, underground, mainstream, the way we treat each other. Lose the garbage and rebuild our scene. I've always tried to insert consciousness and spirituality in my records, interpreting the writings of all cultures and religions and how they apply to life in modern times."

According to the rapper, everything on the upcoming, new solo album is brand new material, meaning nothing recorded with Dr. Dre made it for those wondering. However, who he worked with for the project is currently unknown. Rakim says he'll keep that under-wraps until the project actually drops.

"Special cats in the right places but not everywhere," he said.

The 41-year-old rapper is best known as one half of the legendary duo Eric B. & Rakim, releasing classic albums such as 1987's Paid In Full and 1988's Follow The Leader to name a few.

While the 80s and early 90s was his heyday, Rakim was looked poised to return to the forefront when he signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath label in 2000. But, when years passed and a release date for an album tentatively titled Oh, My God never came, he opted to leave, officially parting ways in 2003 and his work with Dre being shelved indefinitely.

After leaving, Rakim left fans waiting yet again for new music, only releasing a live set in 2008 called The Archive: Live, Lost & Found, which included four previously unreleased songs.

Now, a new album is finally set for release, via the rapper's own Ra Records. Is first single, "Holy Are You," is expected to drop later this month.

The album will follow in the fall.