Rakim: The Master

Somehow I stopped following Rakim after The 18th Letter in 1997. It was an impressive comeback as a soloist because Rakim “ain’t down with Eric B. no more.” I didn’t know Rakim dropped The Master in 1999. The typography on the cover is horrendous, but the album is a classic. Rakim was truly the master of his craft and he was at his best when he rapped about his rapping techniques: “Flow Forever,” “When I B on tha Mic,” and “All Night Long.” I didn’t mind him busted his rhymes for the ladies on “Finest Ones,” but the moaning sample is just weird and irritating. I discovered this album 24 years later, but better late than never.