Rakim celebrates his 46th birthday, Jan 28, and he is a pioneer in the rap game, hailing from Long Island, NY.
Rapper usually list Rakim as an artist that has influenced their choice to rap. Most notably, Nas constantly shows Rakim and he even went as far as recording a song about Rakim from his Street Disciples album, "U.B.R Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim."
Rakim started his career in a rap duo, Eric B. & Rakim in the late 80s, but they parted ways in the mid-90s.
Eric B. & Rakim released a critically-acclaimed album, Paid In Full which has been ranked as the greatest hip-hop album of all time by MTV in 2006.
Check out Nas' tribute to Rakim: