During the Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards, Nas paid tribute to the golden age of hip-hop legend Rakim.
Notably, Rakim made his name as part of the duo Eric B and Rakim, one of the most influential acts in the genre in the 1980s and early 1990s. Songs such as ‘Paid in Full’, ‘Follow the Leader’ and ‘Don’t Sweat the Technique’ formed cornerstones of both MC and DJ culture and were inspirational to many of Nas’ generation.
The Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards took place in Las Vegas on November 18th, and started with the Illmatic rapper reciting a portion of the lyrics from Eric B and Rakim’s ‘Paid in Full’. Following this, Nas then paid tribute to Rakim and his effect on him developing his distinctive style.
“That verse — that song, ‘Paid In Full’ — said, ‘I can think it,'” he began. “Because of you, my brother, I made it,” Nas said to Rakim.
“Because of Doug E. Fresh, Flavor Flav, I gotta shout out all my heroes.” Nas also honoured fellow inductee and Geto Boys rap legend Scarface, before continuing: “Because of y’all, I made it. And I’m forever in debt to y’all.”
The Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards saw Rakim and Scarface take home the inaugural grant from the Paid In Full Foundation, which honours their respective contributions to culture and society. 100% of the net proceeds raised from the event will benefit the Foundation’s support of hip-hop legends.
Elsewhere, in July, Lord Jamar explained why the rap community views Rakim as a lesser figure than Nas. He told VladTV: “Rakim doesn’t have as many albums. We’re still talking about Rakim from his Paid In Full album. That masterpiece, how many albums does Rakim have in total? Nas got mad [amount] of albums Jay-Z got mad albums. I think Rakim might not have more than three.”