IT WAS ON THIS DATE NOV 4, 1997 RAKIM RELEASED HIS DEBUT SOLO ALBUM “THE 18TH LETTER”

The 18th Letter is the debut solo album of American emcee Rakim, released November 4, 1997, on Universal Records in the United States. The album features production by DJ Clark Kent, Pete Rock, Father Shaheed, Nick Wiz and DJ Premier.[1] It contains lyrical themes that concern the hip hop’s golden age, Rakim’s rapping prowess, and the state of hip hop.[2]

Background


BackgroundEdit

It is his first release of new material, following a five-year hiatus after Don’t Sweat the Technique (1992) as duo Eric B. & Rakim.[3][4] The album’s title refers to the letter “R” being the eighteenth letter of the English alphabet.

Deluxe versionEdit
A deluxe version of The 18th Letter was sold with the compilation disc The Book of Life (UD2-53111),[5] an Eric B. & Rakim greatest hits collection.[6] The Book of Life was also issued separately as a double vinyl LP.

Commercial performanceEdit
The 18th Letter debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart[7] and was certified Gold in the United States.[8]

Professional Ratings

Track listing

No.TitleProducer(s)Length

1.”Intro” 0:13

2.”The 18th Letter (Always and Forever)”

Father Shaheed

3:013.”Skit” 0:244.”It’s Been a Long Time”

DJ Premier

3:58

5.”Remember That”

DJ Clark Kent

4:40

6.”The Saga Begins”

Pete Rock

4:22

7.”Skit” 0:19

8.”Guess Who’s Back”

DJ Clark Kent

4:11

9.”Stay a While”

DJ Clark Kent

4:25

10.”New York (Ya Out There)”

DJ Premier

4:04

11.”Show Me Love”

Nick Wiz

4:19

12.”Skit” 0:19

13.”The Mystery (Who Is God?)”

Naughty Shorts

Kid Nyce

Bill Blass[a]

5:21

14.”When I’m Flowin'”

Pete Rock

5:04

15.”It’s Been a Long Time (Suave House Mix)”

Mo-Suave-A

3:59

16.”Guess Who’s Back (Alternative Mix)”

DJ Clark Kent

4:11

17.”Outro” 1:20

Total length:54:10

Notes

^[a] signifies a co-producer.

“The Mystery (Who Is God?)” contains scratches by DJ Sond

The Book of Life

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length

1.”I Know You Got Soul” (from Paid In Full)

William Griffin

Louis Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

4:43

2.”Follow the Leader” (from Follow the Leader)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

5:32

3.”Eric B. Is President” (from Paid In Full)

Griffin

Eric B.

Marley Marl (uncredited)

6:15

4.”Microphone Fiend” (from Follow the Leader)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

5:13

5.”I Ain’t No Joke” (from Paid In Full)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

3:52

6.”Lyrics of Fury” (from Follow the Leader)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

4:11

7.”My Melody” (from Paid In Full)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

6:47

8.”Know the Ledge” (from Don’t Sweat the Technique)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

3:58

9.”Move the Crowd” (from Paid In Full)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

3:36

10.”Let the Rhythm Hit ’Em” (from Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em)

Griffin

Barrier

William Mitchell

Eric B.

Rakim

Paul C

Large Professor

5:24

11.”Mahogany” (from Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em)

Griffin

Barrier

Paul McKasty

Mitchell

Eric B.

Rakim

Paul C

Large Professor

4:27

12.”In the Ghetto” (from Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em)

Griffin

Eric B.

Rakim

Paul C

Large Professor

5:26

13.”Casualties of War” (from Don’t Sweat the Technique)

Griffin

Eric B.

4:02

14.”The Punisher” (from Don’t Sweat the Technique)

Griffin

Eric B.

4:06

15.”Paid in Full” (from Paid In Full)

Griffin

Barrier

Eric B.

Rakim

3:49

Total length: 1:11:21

Charts

References

  1. Gaillard, Mazi (1 December 1997). “CD Review 36 – Juice Magazine”Juice Magazine.
  2. ^ Diers, James (24 December 1997). “Rakim: The 18th Letter, page 1 – Music – City Pages”City Pages. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  3. ^ Coleman, Brian (January 1998). “Review: The 18th Letter / The Book of LifeCMJ New Music Monthly.
  4. ^ Wilson, Ken (11 December 1997). “RAKIM, “THE 18TH LETTER/THE BOOK OF LIFE, UNIVERSAL””The Cincinnati Post. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  5. ^ Jacobs, Qa’id. “The 18th Letter/The Book of Life – Rakim”AllMusic. Retrieved 21 August2009.
  6. ^ Chandler, Justin (1 April 2008). “Rakim :: The 18th Letter :: MCA/Universal Records”. RapReviews. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  7. ^ “Rappers Mase, Jay-Z, Rakim Lead Pack”Los Angeles Times. 13 November 1997. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  8. ^ “Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database”Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  9. ^ Stanley, Leo. “The 18th Letter – Rakim”Allmusic. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  10. ^ Baker, Soren (14 November 1997). “Review:The 18th Letter / The Book of LifeChicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 August 2009. Alt URL
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (21 April 1998). “Consumer Guide: The 18th LetterThe Village Voice. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  12. ^ Ehrlich, Dimitri (7 December 1997). “RECORDINGS VIEW ; A Rap Pioneer Defies the Odds – The New York Times”The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  13. ^ Schreiber, Ryan. “Rakim: The 18th Letter/The Book of Life: Pitchfork Review”Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 19 June 2002. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  14. ^ Morales, Ed (10 November 1997). “Rakim: The 18th Letter/The Book of Life : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone”Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  15. ^ Columnist (December 1997). “Music:The 18th Letter/The Book of Life (CD) by Rakim (Artist)”The Source. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  16. ^ Gonzales, Michael A. (January 1998). “Review:The 18th Letter / The Book of LifeSpin.
  17. ^ Jones, Steve (November 4, 1997). “Review: The 18th Letter / The Book of LifeUSA Today.
  18. ^ Reynolds, J.R. “Review: The 18th Letter / The Book of LifeYahoo! Music. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  19. ^ “Rakim Chart History (Billboard 200)”Billboard. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  20. ^ “Rakim Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)”Billboard. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  21. ^ “American album certifications – Rakim – The 18th Letter”Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2 February 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  22. ^ “American album certifications – Rakim – The 18th Letter & The Book of Life”Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2 February 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

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