The “R” is ready to make his entrance back into the game and preparing to drop a new album, The Seventh Seal, this fall. Scheduled to drop the first single “Holy Are You” on July 28th, Rakim's new album will be released on his own label Ra Records in a joint venture with Tuscan Villa Entertainment and distributed by Fontana/Universal.
In an interview with Billboard, Rakim explained the concept behind his latest album stating that it will be filled with “consciousness and spirituality”:
“The seals are from the Bible- Revelations and the coming of the Apocalypse. But Islam, Judaism, Christianity: all have a version of the same events. 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. After the Apocalypse, God rises from the ashes to recreate the Kingdom, taking only the greatest elements from the past with them.
When you look at Hip-Hop, 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've always tried to insert consciousness and spirituality in my records, interpreting the writings of all cultures and religions and how they apply to life in modern times.”
Rakim's last official album The Master was released in 1999 and after that he signed with Dr. Dre's After Math Records in 2001. The highly anticipated album never materialized as Rakim left the label over creative differences. The Seventh Seal won't contain any long last Dr. Dre productions although “The God” said don't rule out any future collaborations with the famed Chronic producer and MC.