Rakim’s second solo album The Master was released in 1999 and it was seven years after his last album with Eric B. DJ Premier produced “When I B On Tha Mic” and Rakim rapped winding word streams over the piano-heavy beat. Rakim gave a salute to street hustlers, women in the room and his own rap stamina. The song reassured longtime fans that Rakim still possessed greatness and it was a boon to the solo part of his legacy. The Master gained more importance over time because it was Rakim’s last album for the next 10 years. In 2022, Rakim appeared on Michael Patrick Kelly’s song “Wonders.”
Rakim is performing with Talib Kweli at the Blue Note in New York City on February 7th-9th with jazz pianist Bob James. Eric B. and Rakim will get their own action figures in the Spring of 2023.