To my amazement, one of New Jersey’s finest ever MC’s Lakim Shabazz remains as underrated as he was in his active recording

days with Tuff City Records. Somehow, the rapper whose rhymes were heavily influenced by the Nation Of Gods & Earths seemingly disappeared after two albums. After recognising his name on a social network site, I immediately took the opportunity to request an interview with the God. Lakim immediately agreed & I welcomed the chance to find out what he’s up to nowadays & build with him about his hip hop career. Peace Lakim, Thanks for allowing me to build with you. I’m sure many people who remember your music are wondering whatever happened to you. How are you & what are are you up to these days? LS: Peace Almighty, I hope this finds you in the best of health mentally and physically. I come in the name of God Lakim Sha-rik Allah, formerly known as God Lakim Shabazz Allah. I’m great lord, building and teaching the children. I’ve been constantly elevating taking care of my Earth and seeds, still creating music and working in healthcare which I’ve been in for 17 years. I’m a supervisor in a hospital and I work part-time for a paediatrician. Most of all I am being a true and living God, performing his duty which is teaching civilization. From my research very little seems to be documented about your music career, what influenced you to rap & write rhymes? LS: I was influenced to rhyme when I first heard it. It was the year 1980-81 when I first got a taste of Hip Hop music. Sugar Hill Gang and Jimmy Spicer Super Rhymes. Once I heard that it was on. Then the Furious 5 came with Freedom and the rest is history. I used to spend nights in the Bronx over my Aunt Pearls house when I was in the 8th grade. From there I got turned on to Cold Crush, Fantastic Romantic 5, Crash Crew the Boogie Boys Funky 4 and many others. I’d say my greatest influence was Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz, they were my idols. How did you meet The 45 King? Was it through him that you got the Tuff City record deal? LS: I met 45 King through a mutual friend of ours. Mark used to be the record boy for Breakout Funky 4 plus 1 more DJ. He had moved to Irvington NJ. and I’m from Newark, NJ. We used to go over Mark’s house to see him cut 45s’ & 33s’ & he was cool with Tito from the Fearless 4. Tito used to rock in Mark’s basement and I used to take pointers. Tito was nice and he still is. Indeed it was through 45 King that I got the deal through Tuff City. I met Mark around 1983-84. With all the 12”s & compilation albums, your collaborations with The 45 King stretch much further than your two albums. What was it like working with him? LS: I love working with him. Especially after hearing Red Alert mention his name every weekend on the radio for those hot beats. I feel like it was destiny. See, I knew Mark for about 3 years before we got together to record and once I heard his name on the airwaves I sought him out. Biz Markie actually linked me up with him around the time he was recording the Vapors. Biz kept telling me to be patient yet I was a fiery energy ball ready to unleash, I have no regrets however looking back I should have exercised more patience and not signed with Tuff City. Yet I accomplished what I set out to do and that was spark the minds of millions of mentally blind people through my music, so it’s peace. Compared to the original line up, “The Flavor Unit” had a much different image when Queen Latifah & Shakim took over. How did this situation arise? LS: Latifah and Shakim had the finances to incorporate the name and build a brand behind it and that’s how that happened. She at the time was the most successful out of the original members financially, so it was discussed and agreed upon that they would incorporate the name which eventually grew into a worldwide management company and record label.

Marley Marl. All of them influenced my production. Showbiz. I’ve performed at show and proves and many of our nations events. it was seeking expression through my wisdom so I brought it forth. strong and good multiplier for our nation. I’ve always had an ear for music & I used to DJ before I ever spit a rhyme so once I learned it was just something to add on to what I was already doing. The Beatnuts. Indeed I’m very active. Born was an older god from Medina who moved to New Jersey and started teaching in Orange. Buckwild. seeing how he made beats I just gravitated towards it. lots of unsigned acts and Shabba Ranks. Then around 1991 I met a Brownseed by the name of Prince Naikwan Allah who introduced me to a Blackseed from Medina (Brooklyn) name Born Allah. Clearly the Nation Of Gods & Earths was & still is to this day a major part of your life. My name is in the Nations Book in Allah School and I’m a well respected. you disappeared into obscurity. At the time of recording those albums I hadn’t met Born Allah yet but I had it and I . It took me 4 years to get out of that deal yet I did it on my own without owing him anything. I went through a state of depression yet through the help of the true and living Gods I came out right. Man shows and proves who and what he is by building and developing useful things for self and nation. I just wanted to make records not knowing that I was being used as a tool and a slave for Tuff City. They used to call it the Orchard. Need I say more? In my experience. Q Tip and Prince Paul. family day events. I was sparked by a brother name Lamel Born Allah in 1982. When did you first become aware of the culture & how much of an active part do you play now? LS: I got knowledge of self in the year 18 of Allah’s’ Nation at the age of 13. healthy. Allah is lord of all the worlds so it was just another sphere of existence to master. Besides Diamond I’ve done production for Latifah. those who are unaware of what the Nation Of Gods & Earths is truly about either have misconceptions or endeavour to learn the truth. Your debut album “Pure Righteousness” firmly put you on the hip hop map. striving to get released from Tuff City. It was at this period in my life when I started to learn all the business aspects of the industry which was actually backwards. I was also managing my nephew Shatim at that time. Actually he owes me and I have legal vultures taking care of that now. Did you choose to follow a different career path? LS: I was going through trials and tribulations. One thing about God is that we don’t limit ourselves to just one thing. dealing with living Mathematics. children days and civilization classes. My beat influences are 45 King. who else have you produced for? LS: With the 45 King & being around him. Brand Nubian & Rakim (amongst others). Howie Tee. Herbie Lovebug. Science of self is truth and truth is power. King Sun. the more truth you tell the more power you have. children day events and etc. I should have learned that first however I was young and naive. You were part of the great era that included Poor Righteous Teachers. video.I remember the production work that you did with Diamond D. Labels were interested yet Aaron Fuchs the owner was asking for too much money to release me. I deal with living Mathematics cause I live-in Supreme Mathematics and Alphabets. Diamond. apart from your own tracks. How much of a part do you feel you played in enlightening the 85% about the Nation Of Gods & Earths through your music? LS: I build that I played a major part for what its worth people new the gods in the Tri-state area However no-one came with the knowledge on wax as raw as I did with pure righteousness. My life is dedicated to being a true and living god. The Bomb Squad. Latee. He’s the young kid dancing in the Naughty By Nature OPP. After your second “The Lost Tribe Of Shabazz” & the production work. what made you decide to start making beats as well? Also. Rakim was out already and he’d drop a jewel here and there yet every song on my album I was dropping it. We also have events in our land as well. Louie Vegas. Pete Rock. Since I had the knowledge I’ve been active. Large Professor. I had that supreme knowledge in me and it was powerful. rallys. Apache. we frequent the Universal Parliaments.

In the future I’d like to do an all-God album with myself. LS: Peace Mathematically Yours. It will be made a living reality in time just as I come in time. Set your goals in life stay determined and go for it. I’m a free agent in the game. I’m an understanding seed and it’s my job to bring forth understanding. We’re not on the clock and there is no mystery God cause the dead is not known to return from the grave. what message do you have for all those people striving to better themselves & their communities? LS: Trust in self. Do you have any plans to record any new music either as an artist or producer? LS: Indeed I’m recording now. Hip Hop has been through many different changes & trends. It’s not so much what we say yet what we do which will have a positive or negative impact on our communities. (47th year. So yes. You are a person that is associated with having a positive character. We created it so we should own every aspect of it however we don’t. a veteran who can still go bar for bar with any of these so-called nice MC’s. Allah’s Nation) (Interview by Rich Unique) . I build that I played a major roll in enlightening those without knowledge of self. Lakim Sha-rik Allah. It’s a cash cow now with everyone sticking their claws in it just to make a buck. where I’ve been and were I’m heading. However there’s positive and negative in everything. My next album will be titled the Explanation with production from myself and 45 King.gave it as I saw it. He is the best of planners. What’s your view of the scene now & do you feel there is a need for more positivity in hip hop? LS: I like how it has grown from a baby to a grown man. Wise intelligent and Allah Justice (The GZA/Genius). A mind is a terrible thing to waste. I titled it the explanation so the world can see what I’ve been doing. With so much negativity in this world. The real still exists and is seen and heard. I say maybe because I want the world to know my production skills so with this project its’ real personal to me. Rakim. you’re a perfect example of how one word can change the course of a nation. Only one can stop you is you. Lord Jamar. Many thanks Lakim. I got some offers on the table yet now I’m just concentrating on composing a divine classic. One only learns what one teaches self. Maybe Diamond and Large. peace. I don’t like the corporations and 10% minded people that control the outlets that give it to mainstream audiences. It’s an ongoing fight yet we are warriors and who is a better warrior than Allah.

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