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The Master
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Rating
Album: The Master
# Song Title   Time
1)    Intro Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 1:23
2)    Flow Forever Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:11
3)    When I B On Tha Mic Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 3:43
4)    Finest Ones Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:25
5)    All Night Long Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:23
6)    State Of Hip Hop Interlude Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 0:39
7)    Uplift Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 3:09
8)    I Know Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:07
9)    It's The R Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:16
10)    I'll Be There Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 5:10
11)    It's A Must Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:24
12)    Real Shit Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:21
13)    How I Get Down Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:05
14)    L.I. Interlude Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 0:52
15)    Strong Island Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:33
16)    Waiting For The World To End Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:05
17)    We'll Never Stop Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:20
 

Album: The Master
# Song Title   Time
1)    Intro Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 1:23
2)    Flow Forever Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:11
3)    When I B On Tha Mic Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 3:43
4)    Finest Ones Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:25
5)    All Night Long Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:23
6)    State Of Hip Hop Interlude Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 0:39
7)    Uplift Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 3:09
8)    I Know Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:07
9)    It's The R Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:16
10)    I'll Be There Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 5:10
11)    It's A Must Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:24
12)    Real Shit Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:21
13)    How I Get Down Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:05
14)    L.I. Interlude Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 0:52
15)    Strong Island Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:33
16)    Waiting For The World To End Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:05
17)    We'll Never Stop Album Version (Explicit) More Info... 4:20
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Rakim (vocals); DJ Clark Kent (vocals, drums, programming, scratches); Rahzel (vocals, sound effects, beat box); Nneaka Morton, Connie McKendrick (vocals); Punch (various instruments, programming); Ron Lawrence (keyboards, bass); Naughty Shorts, Big Jaz (keyboards, programming); Kevin Osborne, Ted Berkey (keyboards); DJ Slice (bass, scratches); Andy Katz (bass); Trevor Randolph (drums, programming); V.I.C. (percussion, programming); 45 King (programming).
  • Producers include: DJ Premier, Ron Lawrence, Jaz-O, Clark Kent, Big Jaz.
  • Engineers include: Cus, Andy Katz, 45 King.
  • With an MC as talented as Rakim is, there is always the threat that the production will not live up to his superior lyrical flow. 1997's THE 18TH LETTER may not have been the classic record hip-hop purists were waiting for, but it definitely didn't disappoint. 1999's THE MASTER is a pleasant reminder that Rakim is still at the peak of his game.
  • So how does the production fit into the equation? Luckily, the producers assembled for this go 'round are reverent enough to not take their opportunities lightly. DJ Premier comes correct as always with two solid tracks, "When I B on Tha Mic" and "Waiting for the World to End." Other standouts include Punch's party anthem "All Night Long," Big Jaz's "It's a Must" (featuring guest vocal scratches by Rahzel), and Amen-Ra's "Uplift." But it's the 45 King who produces the most timeless track, "How I Get Down," which has a nostalgic feel without sounding dated. It's this song that reminds us of the early days, and what hip-hop used to be, and what it has become. Rakim remains one of the few MC's who manage to ease the blow of change while keeping rap moving forward at the same time.
Professional Reviews
Q (2/00, p.92) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[his] nasal, elongated New York vowels, simple cadences and tough monotone defined the state of the art....The best tracks feature the best guests and producers, with DJ Premier injecting adrenalin into 'When I B On Tha Mic'..."

Muzik (2/00, p.72) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Next to most of its contemporaries this album stands out as a wonderful example of a man at ease with his lyrical art....There is the odd treat, like the single 'When I Be On The Mic'....Other gems include the Rahzel collabo 'It's A Must'..."

CMJ (12/20/99, p.22) - "...Rakim melts the mic on the aptly titled, jeep-rockin' THE MASTER....[his] lyrical flow is amazingly strong as aever. On several tracks, Rakim samples classic Erik B. & Rakim tracks...giving the timeless wordsmith a classic edge."

Vibe (2/00, p.167) - "...THE MASTER shows glimpses of that old rap magic. 'It's the R' is a coolly dispensed rhyme exercise that rides a bluesy Curtis Mayfield guitar loop..."

Vibe (2/00, p.167) - "...THE MASTER shows glimpses of that old rap magic. 'It's the R' is a coolly dispensed rhyme exercise that rides a bluesy Curtis Mayfield guitar loop..."

The Source (1/00, p.191) - 3.5 mics out of 5 - "...an avalanche of pure hip-hop rhythms - horns, basslines, scratches and kick drums....Hip-hop heads are gonna love it....straight Rakim..."

Melody Maker (12/21/99, p.93) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...Ra has perfected a smooth, yet rhythmically complex, flow that still makes most other rappers sound like asthmatic warthogs with debilitating dental problems....He's still got it."
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