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Meaning of the song ‘It’s Been A Long Time’ by ‘Rakim’

Released: 1996

At the heart of “It’s Been A Long Time – Suave House Mix” by Rakim, is a captivating portrayal of reminiscence and resurgence in the realm of hip-hop. Rakim delves into his profound impact on the genre, his enlightened wisdom over the years, and the anticipation surrounding his return.

The opening lines solidify Rakim’s status as a legendary emcee, elevating himself to an almost divine level when he likens the anticipation around his return to that of the reappearance of Jesus. “Nobody been this long awaited since Jesus”, Rakim proclaims. He hints at his revolutionary impact on hip-hop, suggesting he changed the course of the genre with his thought-provoking rhymes.

Throughout the song, Rakim’s lyrics are rich with allegories and cultural references. When he labels himself ‘Asiatic,’ he’s placing himself in the context of the Five-Percent Nation, a cultural movement deeply integral to the origins of hip-hop. His comparison to Mumar Khadafi, the late Libyan leader known for his stranglehold on Libyan property, is a metaphor for Rakim’s dominance in hip-hop.

Rakim’s lyrics also boast of his extensive knowledge and wisdom gained with time – a recurring element throughout the song. The comparison to an ‘Egyptian Pharaoh’ is a nod to his regal command over language and his impact on the rap game, while his lines about writing like the ‘monotony of Allah’ and ‘more thoughts than Bibles’ depict his seemingly endless well of ideas and wisdom.

The rapper also takes a moment to address the evolution of his career, candidly announcing that he is no longer affiliated with Eric B. This signifies a shift in his career, demonstrating Rakim’s adaptability and resilience throughout the ever-evolving hip-hop landscape.

As the song concludes, a defiant Rakim addresses his critics, asserting that they still can’t figure out the source of his inspiration. He presents himself as the original source of a particular style, implying many have attempted to replicate his sound. Rakim, however, stands unmatched in his abilities, promising to continue to produce innovative and influential music.

In essence, “It’s Been A Long Time – Suave House Mix” is a deftly woven narrative about Rakim’s enduring influence in the rap game, his wisdom, and the energy he continues to bring to the hip-hop arena. It’s an exploration of the rapper’s journey and a celebration of his indelible impact on hip-hop culture.

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