Rakim: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The 18th Letter – Tickets – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT – November 18th, 2022
Technician, Big Stat, Tahmell, Joey Batts, Bonzoraps, Spark Kent
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This event is General Admission Standing Room on the Floor and Reserved Seated in the Balcony.
In the history of the Hip-Hop, few artists have had as great an impact on the development and progression of the art forms lyrical style as Rakim Allah. Universally referenced as one of the Masters of the Microphone and an influence and inspiration to his peers and followers alike, Rakim first exploded onto the scene with the release of iconic Eric B. is President in 1986 with long time collaborator Eric B. The single marked a turning point in the Rap world – raising the bar for future emcees and revolutionizing the way rhymes are delivered to this day. No serious discussion of the music’s greatest performers is held without a deferential accounting of his achievements, and no serious rap artist grips a microphone without channeling some of his legend.
Rakim’s intricately intellectual lyrics draw their force from his worldly experience, inner faith and progressive contemplation; his liquid and seemingly effortless delivery – often imitated but still unrivaled – from a fire fueled by a deep understanding of not just Hip-Hop, but also the Jazz and R&B influences that have surrounded his family since his youth. His recordings – including the all-time classics Paid In Full, Follow the Leader and The 18th Letter – have sold in the multi-millions worldwide. Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV and a host of others consistently refer to Paid in Full as “the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time” – a claim that often repeated in audience polls. These Platinum albums line the walls of the Broadway, MCA and Universal labels and, with a Rakim appearance near guaranteeing an explosion of sales, he has been recruited to add his star talents to projects for Alicia Keys, Jody Watley, Damian Marley, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Mobb Deep, Lloyd Banks, Limp Bizkit, Gang Starr and Truth Hurts among many others.
Rakim’s uncanny innovation was the focal point of the critically acclaimed recreation of Bob Marley’s Concrete Jungle and has helped propel movie soundtracks such as Juice, Brown Sugar, the Rugrats, American Psycho and 8 Mile to Best Seller status. His role model status has led world famous brands such as Reebok, The Coca Cola Company, LVMH, Ecko and Sean Jean to choose him as spokesperson.
Now with twenty-five years at the top of Hip-Hop’s Greatest list, the Long Island, NY native not only continues to record for himself, but also works with young artists signed to his own record imprint, Ra Records. With recent tributes in 2012 such as being named the #1 Lyricist of All Time by The Source magazine, receiving the coveted BET Lifetime Achievement Award and being nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, two original music projects, his first feature film role and sold-out international tours keeping the world’s eye on the one many call The GOD EmCee, Rakim Allah continues to lead where others just follow.
TECHNICIAN THE DJ
DJ from The Bronx, New York. Tour DJ for The L.O.X. (Jadakiss, Styles P, Sheek Louch), Rakim, Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan, Solo), Ghostface Killah & Raekwon (as a duo). Also opening for Kid Capri and DJ Chubby Chub DJ’ing in many different countries.
Hip hop hybrid Bigstat is a cross between underground hip hop and mainstream Electronic music. Stat was born and raised in Connecticut, his passion as an emcee started when his mother was murdered at just 12 years old. Stat could've easily chosen the destructive road instead, he chose to pick up a pen and inspire others with his story. People connect with Stat's music on an emotional level no matter what socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or age. His debut album Heart of a Lion takes you through his journey from hitting rock bottom to gaining respect from his Idols. Stat's goal is to bring real hip hop back with a true meaning. After all, that's what inspired him through his difficult times.
Tahmell, When most were learning to walk, Tahmell was already following in his father’s guidance in terms of music. He began practicing and perfecting the art at the age of 5 and while most of his peers focused on keeping up with school and living a normal childhood, Tahmell was able to reap the benefits of being under the wing of his father. By this time Tahmell had realized that music was his calling and that growing up with the influences and wisdom he had acquired from being exposed to greats like Krs-1, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Ice T, and Grand Puba would only help him establish himself in the hip-hop world. Throughout his childhood and adolescence as Tahmell became more involved in sports and learned the essence of hard work and dedication to something you love, he realized how this also translated to music, and decided at that point that the only true passion he had in life was as a musician. Through the guidance and experiences he had as a child watching his father at work in the studio, Tahmell’s goal was to create a new sound that combined his own personal style along with the type of classic hip-hop that had inspired him. After many years of work and growth, Tahmell released his much anticipated mix tape, ‘The After Effect’. The release will only show the world of how versatile he is which make Tahmell a force to be reckoned with in his own right.
JOEY BATTS W/ BONZORAPS
Joe Battaglia, known regionally as Joey Batts, is a High School English teacher at Manchester High School. A stalwart in the local musical community, the last two years has seen Joey working on his elemental project. Air vs Earth released in 2022, with Fire vs Water releasing in early 2023. Batts has done almost everything possible in the New England hip hop music scene, from touring, to merchandising, to headlining shows to opening up for national talent. A marksman with the freestyle raps and an intellectual writer, Joey has created a unique way to weave his love of education, reading & the 5 elements into a large scale body of work. A resident of Hartford, Joey Batts received accolades for his community involvement and his work in bringing community artists together, May 16th is recognized in Hartford as Joey Batts Day.
Bonzoraps is an absolute hurricane on the mic. He makes sure to grab your attention with punching vocals and hooks, connecting stories, to real world happenings and warnings. Though still under 30, when Bonzoraps grabs the mic - he holds the crowd hostage with stage presence and microphone excellence.
Spark Kent is an independent Hip Hop artist based out of Connecticut. For the last 10 years, he has spent much of his time performing at festivals across New England and opening up for legends at venues like Toad's Place in New Haven.
College Street Music Hall
238 College Street
New Haven, CT, 06510