Happy 41st Birthday to Rakim. Widely considered the greatest MC of all time, here’s a quick sample of his lyrical dexterity and genius:

Casualties of War“, (MCA Records/1992)

Day divides the night and night divides the day
It’s all hard work and no play
More than combat, it’s far beyond that
Cause I got a kill or be killed kind of attack
Area’s mapped out, there’ll be no, Stratego
Me and my platoon make a boom wherever we go
But what are we here for? Who’s on the other side of the wall?
Somebody give the President a call
But I hear warfare scream through the air
Back to the battlegrounds, it’s war they declare
A Desert Storm: let’s see who reigns supreme
Something like Monopoly: a government scheme
Go to the Army, be all you can be
Another dead soldier? Hell no, not me
So I start letting off ammunition in every direction
Allah is my only protection
But wait a minute, Saddam Hussein prays the same
and this is Asia, from where I came
I’m on the wrong side, so change the target
Shooting at the general; and where’s the sergeant?
Blame it on John Hardy Hawkins for bringing me to America
Now it’s mass hysteria
I get a rush when I see blood, dead bodies on the floor
CASUALTIES OF WAR!

“Follow The Leader”, (UNI Records/1989)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95gP3m-uBHA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHXFKjfrlqI