It’s been close to a decade since legendary hip hop lyricist Rakim put out any solo material, but his rap skills are still as impeccable as ever. During his recent visit to NPR’s Tiny Desk, the rapper proved he hasn’t lost his touch as he performed his brand-new song, “King’s Paradise.”
The track is included in the soundtrack of Marvel’s Luke Cage, and was co-produced by Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and composer Adrian Younge. Both also joined Rakim during the set to play bass and keys, respectively. “Welcome to Harlem, the home of innovating / Legacies, stories of Gods killing Satan,” the MC spat over a smooth blend of jazz and hip hop, which featured violins, saxophones and electric guitars.
And with such a huge icon in the room, it was hard for him not to plunge into a couple of old-school tunes. “I think, we just need to get into some classics, bro,” Younge said to Rakim before they proceeded to perform hits such as “Paid in Full” and “Know the Ledge.”
Watch Rakim’s entire performance here: