Rakim recently sat down for an interview with eMusic to talk about a variety of topics, including his split with Dr. Dre (who signed him earlier this decade, only to see Rakim walk), his tenuous relationship with Eric B., and how he's over doing "gangster" rap.
Do you have any animosity toward Dr. Dre?
Not at all. I actually thanked him for the opportunity. It was my choice to leave. I was in control of my destiny, and he was in control of his. I actually learned a lot from him — I got to learn what makes icons, icons. Watching Dre stick to his guns is what made me realize I had to stick to my guns.
How did he stick to his guns?
Dre always uses the formula he knows works. Even though people know that Rakim is more of a conscious rapper, Dre wanted me to bring the guns back out and talk about gangsta shit. Gangsta rap is his formula, but I did that already. I think the world wants to hear something different, which is what I tried to do with The Seventh Seal.
The entire interview, at 17 Dots, is worth the read. The Seventh Seal, Rakim's new album, is due out tomorrow.