The second season of NPR’s breakout interview podcast What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito continues with legendary MC Rakim. The New York rap icon shares his thoughts on what he’d do if he was an NFL player taking a knee; his relationship with his aunt, singer and actress Ruth Brown; his collaboration and later split with Eric B.; watching hip-hop grow in popularity and much more.
The podcast returned to feeds everywhere on August 15 featuring wide-ranging conversations with Erkyah Badu and Lenny Kravitz. Upcoming episodes include interviews with Black Thought, Gaby Moreno, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and more to be announced.
Excerpts from the episode follow:
When asked about whether he’d take a knee as a form of protest:
“Word up. I think deep down I am who I am, if it’s rapping, if it’s being a father… I still have the same ideologies on life. So, I would’ve been not only kneeling down, I would have been encouraging my team to make a stand as well. Once I would’ve started seeing all the turmoil, then of course I would’ve tried to implement smart ways of bringing consciousness to the situation, man. I think that’s all it is, man. I think with all the craziness that’s going on, nobody want to stir the pot, but we gotta make sure that everybody has their justice, man, and athletes and musicians and actors, and things of that nature, we have a lot of power. So, if we can influence the kids in the neighborhood to stand up, then we should be able to do that, no matter what platform it is.”
On his split with Eric. B:
“I can’t beat around the bush, because it would sound stupid…we had three more albums left on the contract and Eric B. came up with an idea, he said, Yo, Ra, man, look – if he’d do a solo joint, I’d do a solo joint, then we get together and do the last joint. Then our contracts would be up, we could negotiate new contracts. Meanwhile, when he’d do the solo joint he’d take all the money for that, when I’d do my solo joint I take all the money for that, get back together new album, new deal. You know, it was money science.
Long story short, Eric B. did his, I signed off and when it was time for me to do mine, he didn’t want to sign off. So that caused a lot of problems. That caused the breakup of Eric B. and Rakim. Again, man, it was business. He felt that if he would have signed for some reason I wasn’t going to sign back to the last album. He felt I was going to cut him out for some reason. That was the misunderstanding. I ain’t gonna front, man, bitter taste in my mouth for a long time. But like I said, I finally matured on that situation and realized it was bigger than us, so we here right now.”