Two of Hip-Hop’s most revered lyricists recently crossed paths at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards, with Jay-Z crediting Rakim with helping “pave the way” for himself and other artists during his career.
The interaction, which took place on Sunday (Feb. 5) at Crypto.com Arena, began when Ra spotted Hov walking in his direction, prompting the 55-year-old to approach his Brooklyn counterpart to exchange pleasantries.
Greeting one another with a warm embrace, the pair began to converse, with Jay voicing his excitement over the impromptu meet. “Look at the god!” the 53-year-old said repeatedly, a reference to Ra’s distinction as a supreme wordsmith.
He then voiced his gratitude to the Follow the Leader rapper for his influence and impact on Hip-Hop. “Thank you, brother. Thank you for everything,” the billionaire mogul said. “Thank you for the roads you paved.”
The moment, which was documented by SiriusXM personality and Recording Academy Chapter President Torae Carr and shared for the world to see, garnered a positive reaction, with a number of rap peers noting its significance in the scope of the culture’s history.
In 1987, Rakim debuted alongside DJ Eric B. with their album Paid in Full, which is regarded as one of the most pivotal and transformative rap albums of all-time. He would release several classic albums and rap anthems, including “Eric B. Is President,” “I Ain’t Not Joke,” “My Melody,” “Microphone Fiend,” and “Don’t Sweat the Technique.” He would later embark on a solo career, releasing three studio albums, his most recent being The Seventh Seal in 2009.
The Long Island native performed as part of the GRAMMY’s Hip-Hop 50 tribute, lead by LL Cool J, which included over one dozen acts and accounted for a handful of genre-defining records released across the past four decades.
Jay hit the stage for a performance of DJ Khaled’s “GOD DID” single, but was also attending in support of his wife, who became the most decorated artist in Grammy history after earning her 32nd trophy that evening. Jay-Z currently holds the record for most Grammy wins by a male artist with 24 overall.
In 2002, Rakim appeared on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse album on the track “The Watcher 2” featuring Dr. Dre and Truth Hurts.
Listen to Jay-Z “The Watcher 2” below.