Move the Crowd

Rakim. Photo by Leon Laing.

It’s been a decade since I covered Rakim in Harrisburg. On Dec. 19, 2009, Ra performed at Dragonfly. On Dec. 7, The God Mc returned to a packed house at HMAC, a venue that will be renamed Pantheon in the future.

At HMAC, he performed “Paid in Full,” “Follow the Leader” and other classics while the crowd rapped in unison. These songs took me back to when I first heard “I Ain’t No Joke” and saw the video. During the video, Ra spits razor-sharp lyrics against a backdrop of a J.B.’s sample. The video accentuates the song’s title by juxtaposing a pensive Rakim with Flavor Flav, hip-hop’s court jester.

After his set, Rakim went to the District Bar & Lounge to hang out and greet fans. Click here to read my exclusive interview with the God Mc from 10 years ago.

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