If you were to ask most emcees who their biggest influence is, there’s a good chance they would say it’s Rakim. Born in Long Island, New York (pronounced “Lawn Guyland”) William Michael Griffin formed one-half of the most legendary duos in music history when he teamed up with DJ Eric B in 1985. “Paid in Full” is considered by many aficionados to be the best track off of the greatest hip-hop album of all time. Rakim, who isn’t known to suffer bouts of humility—his nicknames are “God Allah” and “The Alpha and Omega of Hip-Hop”—is not only known for his powerful voice and strong lyrics; it’s his effortless delivery that places him in the upper echelon of hip-hop royalty. He’ll perform with DJ Kid Capri as part of his tour to promote his latest album, “The Seventh Seal,” which will drop later this year. Brother Ali, Pugs Atomz and DJ Intel open the show. (Daniel Honigman)
September 17 at House of Blues.