Hip-Hop pioneer Rakim's long-awaited The Seventh Seal album will finally be released this fall and drop under the rapper's own record label.
Rakim recently explained the meaning behind his forthcoming release and how he anticpates gaining the younger generation's attention.
"The seals are from the Bible - Revelations and the coming of the Apocalypse...The Lion of Judah breaks the seven seals one by one, each imparting knowledge and inflicting catastrophe, ending with seven trumpets announcing the end of Times...I want to do that: to spit fire and take our best from the ashes to build our kingdom; to recognize all the regional styles, conscious lyrics, the tracks, underground, mainstream, the way we treat each other. Lose the garbage and rebuild our scene...I don't accept that the new generation is looking for anything different than what we've always been looking for. Depending on the moment, they want bangers that make them crack their neck...Every generation wants that real hip-hop. And I've always been able to bring that."
The rapper plans to drop his first single later this month.
The project's first single, "Holy Are You," will drop July 28. The album is being released on Rakim's Ra Records label in a joint venture with Tuscan Villa Entertainment, headed by industry veterans Ron Kyle and Lennie Petze. In turn, Tuscan Villa is entered in a joint venture pact with SMC Recordings whose principals are Ralph Tashjian and Will Bronson. Handling distribution for Rakim's album is Fontana/Universal Music Group. The rapper is managed by Matthew Kemp.
Rakim previously spoke on the importance of New York rappers representing authentic hip-hop.
"New York is responsible for bringing that raw...real gritty hip-hop 'cause we originated it" Rakim said in an interview. "New York and the East Coast, we gotta represent and do our part and then it's okay for everyone else to do what they do...then it'll be a balance and everybody will be happy...but once New York and the East Coast start submitting certain sounds right now, then yeah, a certain element of hip-hop will die."
His lyricism helped him get a deal with Dr. Dre, however, the two later split due to creative differences around July 2003.
A source at Aftermath told MTV News that the split was based on musical differences and that neither Dre nor Rakim was content with the direction the tracks were going in. Rakim, considered by many to be one of the greatest rappers in hip-hop, signed with Aftermath three years ago after Dr. Dre made public a desire to work with him.
The Seventh Seal is due in stores fall 2009.