Rakim - "Black Messiah"

With Fred Hampton Jr. (l) and DJ Free Leonard (r)
Every year around this time of year, Long Island Rap Records takes a week to celebrate the works of Rakim, one of the greatest poets and performers in history, who happens to be from Wyandanch, Long Island, and whose birthday happens to fall on January 28. A new Rakim song is always a cause for celebration and as it happens, the newest also fits into a playlist posted in a previous year's Rakim Week.  Released February 12, 2021, "Black Messiah" is an ode to Fred Hampton from the soundtrack to the biographical film, Judas and the Black Messiah, about the Black Panther Party leader and his betrayal at the hands of FBI informant William O'Neal. In his autobiography, Rakim wrote about his love of biographies, so it's no surprise that his song about Hampton succeeds in telling the revolutionary's story with much the same resonance as the Oscar-winning film. What is surprising is that Rakim was able to bang the song out in one day at the request of Fred Hampton Jr. himself (per a lecture at Grand Rapids Community College).


 "Black Messiah" has been added to Long Island Rap Records' YouTube playlist of Rakim's Soundtrack Work, which first launched in February 2018 and has been updated several times since.

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