Rakim's work with Linkin Park on the group's "Guilty All The Same" track may come as a surprise to some of his listeners, but the New York emcee says it's a natural collaboration for him.
"I got a lot of respect for Linkin Park," Rakim says in an interview with XXL. "I’ve been a fan since they came out."
Rakim, who says he discovered Linkin Park with his children, says he likes "all" of the band's songs.
"I get a vibe off of it and I know exactly what they speaking on and the feeling they bringing across," he says. "I respect them for that."
Rakim's respect for Linkin Park allowed for the two acts to collaborate. When Linkin Park called him to be a part of "Guilty All The Same," Rakim says he felt it was "perfect."
"It’s a band that picks up the integrity and I felt I was going through the same things they was going through when he told me how he was listening to certain music and he didn’t want to do that route," Rakim says. "I deal with the same thing in Hip Hop. Majority rules, and if everybody is going this way, artists are almost handcuffed to do the same thing. I felt it was a good statement to make and a good chance to try and rebuild what we trying to do. As far as them trying to rebuild the rock sound and me trying to make that statement and let people will know what’s going on. Again, I felt it was a perfect opportunity."
Rakim's work in Rock "makes sense," he says.
"Rock And Roll with Hip Hop goes hand in hand," Rakim says. "Especially when it’s the best of two genres, I feel it's shooting for the same thing. The Rock And Roll world always been heavy in going for the underground and the streets. Hip Hop started underground for the streets. Things change on both courses, but again, the two genres is starting to make the statement and stand for the same thing. They go hand in hand like a no-brainer."
Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, the group's rapper and singer, recently spoke with HipHopDX about the Rakim collaboration "Guilty All The Same." "We were in the studio listening to the track and originally I was gonna Rap in the bridge and I said as I was listening to it I thought it was predictable for me to rap a verse right here," Shinoda said at the time. "Like that's not as exciting as it could be. What could we do that would be shocking? And I joked [that] you know we’ve already done stuff with Jay Z, what if we got Rakim? Like I thought it would be impossible, but the engineer was like I can get to him if you want me to. I said, 'You're fucking kidding me.' He said, 'You know my buddy back in New York was his engineer and lived near him, and I’ll just give him a shout and see if he can reach out and ask the question.' I said, 'Well it doesn’t hurt so do it.' Next thing I know, a week later, I was on the phone with the guy."