Lessons From Rakim Allah The God MC

By El Che

Fest and Rakim

When I first began this journey, I knew that half of the adventure consisted of sharing home lives with total strangers, trying to become family with over 30 people in 22 days. And I’ll tell you like I tell all my hosts: “Once I arrive, in my mind, we are family. If you are in Chicago, you are never homeless, as long as I have a home there. If I have food, you won’t starve.” I take this covenant seriously. I do believe that humanity is currently engaged in spiritual Armageddon, whether we know it or not. If we cannot connect with those that share the same ideas and create a fortress from ignorance, fear, and economic slavery then we’ll all be controlled by whatever the system dictates which isn’t always in the best interest of our individual freedom.

The second half of this adventure, consists of riding on the tour bus and spending a month with the John Lennon of rap, Rakim. From day one, I hopped on the bus with camera on, doing what some of my hosts do when I arrive, asking 21 questions. However my questions weren’t about hip hop. Rakim and I talked about honor amongst men, the relationship between men and women, and the loss of masculinity in America. It is my duty not to collect wisdom and harbor it, but to share with you what I’ve been learning.

Honor When it comes to honor, Rakim seems to believe that at the rate that we are going, the word honor is becoming as ancient as the Hebrew language. A novelty word used to create an impression of realness but not upheld. Honor is when your words match or exceed your actions. A showing of mutual respect not only in how we celebrate one another but also in how we wage war (Fester’s Dictionary). Rakim told me a story about his son Jabar who had claimed to be jumped on by some boys at school. Rakim wasn’t having it. He went up to park where they all hung and said “Which one of ya’ll jumped my son?” One of the attackers, while shaking in his boots said, “No sir, I don’t even know who your son is.” When Jabar showed himself, the boy replied, “Man, he hit us first.” Rakim then asked Jabar why did he say the boys jumped him if he hit them first. Jabar replied, they were jumping my boy, so yeah I hit first because I had to help my friend. As any responsible man of the community, Rakim made sure the boys squashed the beef right then and there but noted the honor in his son’s action – asserting himself and placing himself in harm’s way in the name of brotherhood.

Relationships When it came to women, Rakim explained to me how 90% of all relationships that are dysfunctional are due to a man not being able to control himself and respond to his woman. He likened the woman to the earth and the man to the sun and explained how we need to be able to orbit around our companion’s needs. Sometimes a woman requires the light of attention, communication and tenderness. And other times, she should be left in some darkness to discover things for herself. He compared the darkness to freedom. The darkness is when you as her sun step away and let her have the freedom to discover the light within. Rakim explained that giving a woman too much light may smother and burn up the relationship. Allowing her too much darkness can distance her and shut her out from the love and nurturing that she can provide for the family. He said that he felt that he understood women so well, that it was almost like cheating the system. He began breaking down a woman’s fragility and sensitivity during her cycle and how a man needs to maneuver his spirit around it. For example, not having to go word-for-word with everything your woman says, as a man having the ability to listen. In his view this showed a greater strength than dictating and forcing one’s opinion or view. His words resonated with me because it goes with my theory of choosing your enemies moreso than your battles. As I look back upon my past relationships, I can honestly say that I as the immature man, bare the brunt of loves lost.

Masculinity Rakim talked to me about how in music today, it seems as though most rap artists are doing songs for the female fan base. Yes, they buy records. Yes, they are the ones on the dance floor at the clubs, buying drinks, stimulating the economy for the most part. However, he explained, in this mostly male-genre of hip-hop [rap] because of the business of catering to the female fans, we as men are losing our way. Rakim talked about a day where men lead men and women chose the strongest warrior. However, in our pop culture society, it seems as though men and women would rather gossip at the salon together. This view of his struck me particularly because it basically sums up my lifestyle and exactly how I teach my son. Sometimes people think that when you are pro-masculine, you are either homophobic or chauvinistic. For me, none of that applies. I simply believe that a real man provides, protects, and is obligated to serve his community and if possible society. In judging by my conversations with the God MC Rakim, I am not alone in this belief.

Filed in: Uncategorized • Monday, November 16th, 2009


Let’s get back to the ways of the WISE. RESPECT those before us so we as MEN can continue to carry and share what is rightfully passed on through mind, body and soul. worD.

VERY Intriguing, and insightful. I’m sure the time spent on tour will open your eyes to a lot of different things and that, my good man, is invaluable.


I’ve read many entries here and enjoyed each, yet this one compelled me to leave a comment. This was extremly real and should be read by all. Especially the sections on honor and masculinity. Great read.

live by it, die by it…that goes for the good and the bad….u got sonned son! jus jokin. peace.

By GameTheory420 on November 16th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Great piece Che, everyone can learn something from the vast wisdom of Rakim Allah.

By LORD SUPREME UNDERSTANDING on November 30th, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Hey Fest what up! Yo this is J-Saint, I was to serve as your host for the November 14 show in Harrisburg, PA. Just so the readers have a little background of the evening, I’m going to inform them…Rakim and Rhymefest didn’t make that show due to the tour bus breaking down in Va. Man, I was bummed…I’m an artist too and I was set to open for the duo that night as well. And as you would expect from a team of guys who have been on the road for weeks and are exhausted and most likely frustrated due to the bus issues, we weren’t informed until a couple of hours prior to the club doors opening that the show wouldn’t happen that night. But shit happens and the evening turned out to be great, I ordered the Pacquiao vs Cotto fight, had a party at my crib (about 40-50 people came) and we rocked out till about 6am. Now my question for you (Rhymefest) is this bro…are you coming back with Rakim on December 19th for the rescheduled show? Will you need a place to stay if you are? Funny, you compare Rakim to “John Lennon” and I agree with you. I have a framed poster of John Lennon in my bedroom that came inside the original Imagine album…that dude, was in my opinion the most phenominal song writer in history as Rakim in my opinion is the best MC in history. I also see your views regarding honor and hear the “real” talk in your songs and honestly that’s what I love about you man. So please, can you or Donnie hit me up and let me know if you’ll be here on the 19th and if so, I’d still like to serve as your host homie, I really spent a lot of time preparing my home for you the first time around and would hope I didn’t do that all in vane. Thanks!

Very intresting .I Would like to know if there is any possible way for me to contact rakim allah ? Im from middle east ,do you have any connections suggesting ?
thanks .
best regards ,


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Che Smith is a revolutionary artist, writer, and activist. Popularly known as Rhymefest, the South Side Chicago native has been a trailblazer in music, television, and politics.