Everyone is raving about Rakim Allah’s new memoir/ writing manual: Sweat The Technique: Revelations on Creativity from The Lyrical Genius. There are so many levels to the book that has everyone talking, but most surprisingly fans are allowed into the reclusive world of “The god Emcee.”
Recently, he appeared on The Breakfast Club starring DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God and Angela Yee to talk about this new literary offering. While recounting how he started, some levels of rap beef (including how disappointed he was to not be included on the “Self Destruction” track), and how much loved his family, he also mentioned that as a very young man- he did some very grown up things.
First, he started rapping at 7 years old. Then he met the love of his life, his wife, while still in school. He wrote “Eric B for President” as a teenager in high school. But most shockingly, it was revealed that he caught his first gun charge at 12.
You heard it right. The even-toned emcee, who has always on wax talked about peace and living in your highest vibration, was wilding as a kid.
When asked about beef, he explained that the man he is today was not the child he was back in the day.
“Where I grew up, I was pretty much known. I had a couple of brothers and sisters that kind of paved the way. I was Lil’ Griff. I was also a little wild. I caught my first gun charge at 12.” He shares with the trio.
In disbelief, Envy exclaims “12!!!!”
Rakim calmly confirms, “12 years old.”
When asked where was he carrying a gun at 12 years old, he punctuates, “Everywhere.”
“Cause at that time, I am rapping and I hanging out with people that are in high school and college, going all over Long Island and some places in New York.”
C Tha God breaks the energy with a joke, “You were always a little advance. You wrote your first rhyme at 7. Carrying a gun by 12.”
“Word Up!” Rakim chuckles.
Angela hops in on the laughter, “You were always an old soul.”
Angela later asked the “Paid in Full” rapper, “Do you think that your parents’ relationship affected how you viewed marriage?”
“No doubt. They instilled a lot of good morals in me. To this day, I still do things as if my moms and pops were here. Both of them are gone. They brought me up good.” A reflective Rakim shares.
Charlamagne chimes in and says that he has a few more questions. He asks him, “In the book you discuss that Hip-Hop is a way of thinking and you also studied Five Percent teaching. What gave you more confidence: Hip-Hop or the teaching of The Five Percent Nation?”
“The teachings of the Five Percent. That right there… there was a time in the early 80s… 81 or 82…” the rapper talks about his reform, “Remember I had the gun charge at 12 and a couple other incidents, I got to a point where I knew I needed guidance. I needed something to keep me in line. I thought about Job Corp. I tried to join Zulu Nation. And then shortly after Zulu, I met somebody that had knowledge of self. Once I got that, it helped answer all my questions.”
So glad that he got knowledge of self and chose to use Hip-Hop to pass it on to others.
Check out the entire interview below: