Don't sweat the technique: hip-hop legend Rakim

William Michael Griffin Jr., better known as Rakim Allah

William Michael Griffin Jr., better known by the stage name Rakim Allah, was just 16 years old when he broke in on the New York City hip-hop scene in 1986. The Long Island native got his break when he met DJ and producer Eric B. Performing as Eric B. & Rakim, they went on to release four studio albums together, including 1987’s Paid in Full. MTV named it the greatest hip-hop album of all time in 2006. They were nominated for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and in 2012, the world’s longest-running rap periodical, The Source, ranked Rakim number one on their list of best vocalists of all time. He has appeared on the soundtracks for the films American Psycho and 8 Mile. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, SITE Santa Fe (1606 Paseo de Peralta, 505-989-1199) presents “An Evening with Rakim.” A talk on his book, Sweat the Technique: Revelations on Creativity from the Lyrical Genius, is followed by a 7:30 p.m. performance by DJ Raashan Ahmad and a 9 p.m. performance by Rakim. The talk is $25. The performances are $35. Tickets for the entire event are $55 or $125 for VIP seating and a signed copy of his book. Tickets available at

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