Despite the fact that back in 1992, Rakim Allah told you and me “Don’t Sweat the Technique,” it is apparent that his skill set is certainly something to break a sweat about. In lieu of dropping his new single “King’s Paradise,” the God MC delivered a nostalgic performance on NPR‘s Tiny Desk Concert series last Friday (June 22).

Welcome to Harlem, the home of innovating
Legacy, story of Gods killing Satan
Where they honor Harlem’s father Philip Payton
The renaissance in the making
Joe Louis, Lena Horne
Malcolm, Maya, Louie Armstrong
Now crime is the new crave, so there’s a new crusade
Salute to Luke Cage, fight for the cause

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Saluting the stance of the Harlem Renaissance and the era’s most significant figures in the likes of Malcolm X, Lena Horne, and Maya Angelou, “King’s Paradise” was curated for season two of Marvel’s Luke Cage. The electrifying track also owns the production and co-writing handles of A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and class-act keyboardist Adrian Younge. With a nine-member band, Rakim performed his new single plus two of his most prized Eric B. and Rakim classics “Paid in Full” and “Know the Ledge.” With Muhammad taking the bass, Younge gracing the keys, and soaring blues guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, the masses were exposed to a matured Hip-Hop legend who showed and proved his timeless aesthetic of sharpness on the mic using an approach that was honorable to his persona.

Rakim’s last release was in 2009 with his third solo studio gem The Seventh Seal which spawned two singles “Holy Are U” and “Walk These Streets.” The album was a true and live account of the legend in his time appropriated stance in his home city of New York. The drop of “King’s Paradise” is a probable signal that the God MC is dropping a new project in the near future. Over the past two years, Classic Hip-Hop artists have been releasing top notch projects which assist with solidifying the traditional Hip-Hop lyricist.


Watch Rakim Allah’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert performance here.