Throwback: Rakim-When I B On Tha Mic


Rakim’s solo sophomore album The Master found him tipping his crown as the inventor of the coolest rhyme flow. “When I B On Tha Mic” proved that Rakim still had a commanding voice 12 years after debuting and being pegged as an instant legend. DJ Premier’s steady snares and jazzy piano formed a solid square for Rakim’s lyrics to stand on. His production made the words hit harder especially when Rakim’s phrase “I’m internationally known” was repeated with his signature calm tone. The Master was his last album to be released in the ’90s and his third solo album, The Seventh Seal would arrive 10 years later in 2009. In 2016, he reunited with Eric B. after being apart for more than two decades. Fans were surprised to hear Rakim on the “E.L.E. 2 Intro” from Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath Of God album released in 2020.