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If there’s one lesson we all took away from this year’s Roots Picnic, it’s this: Rakim ain’t no joke. After a historic performance of the rap classic Paid In Full LP from front to back, Rakim Allah sat down to build with Okayplayer TV backstage. Besides teasing not one but TWO new projects–his own solo album and a Paid In Full 25th Anniversary LP–Rakim shared his thoughts on the live aspects of hip-hop.  His own emphasis on lyricism (“I think if i sat down on stage and spit with the same intensity (the fans) wouldn’t care…”) is maybe not surprising, coming from the original rapper’s rapper. But what did surprise us was when Ra shared his vision that live instrumentation is “the future of hip-hop,” even expressing a slightly wistful tone over the fact that more bands hadn’t followed in The Roots footsteps: “I was hoping that I was gonna see…an explosion of that.” It’s not too late, y’all. Watch the magic unfold above and then go pick up a pen. Or a saxophone.

Allison Swank – Senior Producer
Emmai Alaquiva – Director | Editor | Producer | Cinematographer
Edwin STATS Houghton – Interview
Sinat Giwa – Production
Rory Webb – Production
Jordan Gilliam – Audio Management
Alex Goldblum – Data Management

Cinematographers:
Myo Campbell
Alex Gaylon
Riley Graham
Zach Isaac
Yahya Ismall
Rob Lee
Dominique Taylor

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