Rakim is the stage name of William Michael Griffin Junior. He is an American songwriter, rapper, and record producer who started his career in the 1980s. He rose to prominence after uniting with Eric B. for the formation of the hip hop duo “Eric B. & Rakim”. Now, the golden age duo is considered to be one of the most skilled and influential MC of all time. Throughout their illustrious career, the two rappers released four gold and platinum-certified albums, as well as a huge amount of singles.
How did Rakim earn his net worth?
Rakim became rich in the 1990s after he embarked on his solo career. After meeting in the mid-1980s, Rakim began working with Eric B with whom he created several music projects. Their very first song titled “Eric B. Is President” was released in 1986. One year later, they signed recording deals with the labels 4th and B’Way Records and Island Records. In July 1987, the duo released their debut studio album “Paid in Full”. By the time, they were Abel to receive approximately $5.000 and, in addition to entering several album charts, their first project received a platinum certification by the RIAA for selling one million copies.
Eric and Rakim released their sophomore album “Follow the Leader”, which was just as successful as their first. The two continued to attain mainstream success with multiple singles in the early years of the decade. They released two final albums – “Let the Rhythm Hit Them” and “Don’t Sweat the Technique”, thanks to which Rakim earned more than $30.000. In 1993, after the dissolution of the hip hop duo, Rakim embarked on his solo career. After keeping a low profile for most of the year, he made a notable appearance on the soundtrack of the action-comedy film “Gunmen”.
Why is he so famous?
The rapper gained international popularity after the Eric B. & Rakim duo was formed. He was born on January 28, 1968, in Wyandanch, New York. He is the nephew of Ruth Brown, the late American actress, and R&B singer. William began writing songs and rhymes when he was seven years old, with his first being about the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. During his pre-teen and teen years, Griffin had aspirations to be a professional football player. He played quarterback during his time in the Wyandanch High School, from which he graduated in 1986.
Shortly after he graduated from high school, William was introduced to DJ Eric B. He began writing lyrics that were mixed with the local DJ and this is how he decided to pursue a career in music. At that time, he was using the stage name “Kid Wizard”. In 1986, he was introduced to the Nation of Islam and then decided to join the Five-Percent Nation (also known as The Nation of Gods and Earths). This is also when he developed the name “Rakim Allah”, which he decided to use as his stage name.
What makes him so successful?
The success of this rapper and producer comes from his many projects in the hip hop world. In the mid-1990s, after being dropped from the MCA Records label and despite facing multiple legal problems, he was able to secure a recording deal with the label “Universal Records”. He then began working on his solo debut album, entitled “The 18th Letter”, which was released in November 1997. The project was relatively successful as it entered the US Billboard 200 chart at number four and also earned a gold certification by the RIAA.
In addition to releasing two more studio albums (“The Master” and “The Seventh Seal”), Rakim also began appearing on television a lot more frequently starting the early years of the new millennium. He took part in “Soul Train”, “In Living Colour”, “The Drop”, Vox Pop”, “The Last O.G”, and most recently “La Originals”. In late 2016, the rapper announced that after 26 years of dissolution, he would be reuniting with Eric B, however, as of now, the two still haven’t released music projects.
Rakim began his music career in the 1980s and quickly broke through with his high energy, as well as internal and multisyllabic rhymes. He joined forces with Eric B. and in just one decade, they became one of the most prolific and successful golden age hip hop duos of all time. Now, Rakim continues to produce and release new music and is expected to release his fourth studio album.