Rakim Salutes JAY-Z’s Growth On His 4:44 Album (Video)

Over the past 3 weeks, JAY-Z has received near universal acclaim for his album, 4:44. Along with being sonically engaging, the No I.D.-produced album may be Jay’s most revealing to date. He touches on matters personal to his family, friends, foes, and upbringing, and also shares plentiful jewels about life lessons he’s learned over the course of his 47 years.

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While Jay has had praise from people young and old for the evolution he has shown on the album, over the weekend, he got one of the highest co-signs of all. Although Jay has come to be also known as “Hov,” Rakim is the original God MC, and he spoke with BET during last weekend’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (7/15) about his thoughts on 4:44.

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“We gotta understand. Jay is a trendsetter. If he ain’t gon’ set trends, it’s no reason for him to do what he do,” Rakim begins. He continues, speaking to the need for evolution and maturity in Hip-Hop, generally, “At this point, you have to mature, so that it’s not just a young culture. No disrespect to the younger listeners, but we have to make sure that the older people are satisfied so that it’s not just a young culture.” After noting that he’s 49, Rakim says “It’s people my age that love Hip-Hop too, so we gotta make sure that we’re making records for them, as well.”

Turning back to Jay, Rakim notes that Jay is a different person than he was when he began his career and, thus, he needs to talk about different things. “You gotta understand it’s not gonna be Reasonable Doubt. That brother [has] been through things. He got a family now. He got a wife and kids now. So, of course we want to make sure that we support his growth, and we gotta move with him.” He concludes with “Big up, Jay! Roc, baby!”