The nephew of actress/singer Ruth Brown, William Michael Griffith, Jr., known professionally as Rakim, was born in Wyandanch, New York in 1968. He is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 MCs of his generation, if not of all time. He previously performed as half of the duo Eric B. & Rakim before breaking out on his own. He formally began his career in hip hop music in 1985 at the young age of 18. He has since gone on to build a current Rakim net worth of $1 million.
His earliest forays into hip hop music began in 1985 when he was invited by Eric B. to record the single “Eric B. is President” at Marley Marl’s house. In fact, Rakim answered Eric B.’s search for New York’s best MC, proving that he was indeed what Eric B. was looking for at that time. Their single “Eric B. is President” caught the attention of Russell Simmons, who founded Def Jam Records. He help them get signed the label Island Records. They then began recording their first debut album, which was released in 1987. The album hit the number 58 spot on the Billboard 200. Five singles, including “Paid in Full,” were released from that album.
After enjoying commercial and artistic success in the late 1980s, the duo released their fourth and final album, Don’t Sweat the Technique, in 1992. Critics took note of the album’s political tones, which could have played a part in why it was not as commercially well received as their other albums. During this time, the pair’s recording contract came due with their label. Eric B. chose not to sign, a decision that ultimately played a role in the duo’s split and Rakim’s embarking on a solo career. He released his first solo album in 1997. This creation was called The 18th Letter.
How Much Is Rakim Worth Now?
His Rakim net worth is still valued at $1 million today, and he remains as financially and artistically lucrative as ever. In fact, he has four solo albums to his credit, the first of which was certified gold. All of his solo endeavors has met with acclaim from fans and critics alike. He also continues to collaborate with other hip hop performers like DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Nottz, J. Wellz, Needlz, and Nick Wiz, among others.
He has also continued his live performances, recently performing at the Blue Jazz Club with the band Roots. The performance celebrated the 25th anniversary of his first album released when he was part of Eric B. & Rakim. In 2013, he began work on his newest album, which featured a collaboration between him and Pharrell Williams. He also worked with DMX on the song “Don’t Call Me.” His professional collaborations have not been relegated to the hip hop genre. In fact, he worked closely with rock band Linkin Park on their album The Hunting Party. He can be heard performing on Linkin Park’s single “Guilty All the Same.”
Along with titling himself by the professional name of Rakim, he also works under other pseudonyms, including Ra, The God Emcee, The Master, or simply Rakim Allah. He is a member of The Nation of Gods and Earths and officially adopted the name Rakim Allah after joining this organization. He is also now widely regarded as a hip hop icon and has an impressive legacy that other hip hop stars attempt to live up to in their own careers. Along with being listed as among the top 50 MCs of all time, he is also highly regarded for his role as a lyricist.