The latest in my series of music-themed portraits, this time featuring none other the Microphone Fiend himself, Rakim!
I was at school the first time I heard Rakim on the classic 'My Melody', the B-Side to 'Eric B Is President'. At the time it was a revelation, as his voice and delivery did not have the bombast of the popular MCs of the time, but a smooth, insistent flow, with insane wordplay and punchlines. He would seem to just rhyme and rhyme and rhyme, without relying on hooks and gimmicks, he was (is) just so lyrical, his words painted pictures in the mind.
His back catalogue is too deep to keep naming my favourite tracks and so on, but what I will say is that I always enjoy the fact that when he drops an album, its generally pure, undiluted Rakim. No guest spots, just his voice throughout the albums, and I really miss that in modern hip-hop.
In terms of the image creation, I decided to reference the classic Rakim I grew up with, around the time of the 'Follow The Leader' release. This went a lot quicker that most of the portraits I've done of late. I just got into it and polished it off in a few sitting. I'm pretty pleased with it, although there are a couple of things I may go back and tweak, time permitting.
As usual, below are a few process pics as well as clips of some of my favourite Rakim moments.
As always, enjoy!