When: Sun., June 12, 7 p.m. 2016
Where would hip-hop be without Rakim? Before the 36-chain legend slammed the mic in 1986, hip-hop’s rhythms and rhyme schemes were largely the stuff of Seuss and Silverstein; with Eric B. on the cut for Paid in Full, Rakim turned the artform on its head with a storytelling, polish and depth never seen before in rap. It was as if Steph Curry dropped in on Sunday park pick-up, pulling impossible feats and toying with the next-best. Three decades after the sea change of Paid in Full, he still casts a wide shadow over the new generation of rap — Harlem star A$AP Rocky’s birth name is Rakim.