William Michael Griffin Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim (born January 28, 1968), is an American rapper. One half of golden age hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential and most skilled MCs of all time.
Eric B. & Rakim's album Paid in Full was named the greatest hip hop album of all time by MTV in 2006, while Rakim himself was ranked #4 on MTV's list of the Greatest MCs of All Time. Steve Huey of AllMusic stated that "Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs – perhaps the greatest – of all time within the hip-hop community." The editors of About.com ranked him #2 on their list of the 'Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007)'. Rakim began his career as the emcee of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, who in 2011 were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2012, The Source ranked him #1 on their list of the "Top 50 Lyricists of All Time."
On October 20, 2016, it was announced via Twitter that Rakim has reunited with Eric B. after 23 years of dissolution. The duo teased a potential reunion tour the next morning, hosting a poll for the fans to give their opinion on what city Eric B. & Rakim should start the tour. Four locations were the potential candidates: New York City, Las Vegas, London, and Australia. Since the announcement of the reunion, fans have speculated if the two will drop a new studio album in the near future.