The Seventh Seal (Rakim album)

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The Seventh Seal
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 2009
GenreHip hop
LabelRa Records, TVM, SMC Recordings, Universal, Fontana
ProducerRakim (exec.)
Matthew Kemp (exec.)
Slyce, Needlz, Y-Not, Nottz, Samuel Christian, J. Wells, Jake One, Nick Wiz, Neo Da Matrix, Lofey, Poppa Pill
Rakim chronology
The Master
The Seventh Seal
Singles from The Seventh Seal
  1. "Holy Are U"
    Released: July 14, 2009
  2. "Walk These Streets"
    Released: October 7, 2009
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
About.com2.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club(C)[4]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media(5.6/10)[6]
Slant2.5/5 stars[8]
Spin2.5/5 stars[9]
Time Out4/5 stars[10]
Village Voice(mixed)[11]

The Seventh Seal is the third solo studio album by American rapper Rakim. It was released November 17, 2009 after several delays on Rakim's own Ra Records, TVM, and SMC Recordings and distributed through Fontana and Universal Music Group.[12] Considered a comeback album after a ten-year gap between releases, the album features the singles "Holy Are You," which was released on July 14, 2009, and "Walk These Streets" which was released on October 7, 2009. It features production from several renowned hip hop artists, including Nottz, Needlz, Jake One, and Nick Wiz.[13]

The album sold 12,000 copies in the United States by November 22, 2009, according to SoundScan.[14] Upon its release, The Seventh Seal received generally mixed or average reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 59/100 from Metacritic.[15]



The original title for the album was Oh, My God, with the original release date set for 2002, but after he signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath record label, he eventually left. The official reason for his departure from Aftermath were creative differences and the different work habits of Dre and Rakim.[16][17]

After leaving the label, Rakim began recording new songs for the album and Dr. Dre allowed him to keep the songs that he originally produced.[18]

Then in 2007, Rakim decided to record completely new songs for the album. In an interview with Billboard on July 13, 2009, when asked about if this album contains any material from the unreleased album he did with Dr. Dre, he stated "No, that's locked down in the lab for now. This is me live from New York City, everything brand new."[19]



In an interview with Billboard in 2007, when asked about story behind the title, Rakim said,

In an interview in early 2009, when asked about the new generation of hip hop fans, Rakim said,

In another interview with Billboard in 2009, he stated,

In another interview with Billboard in November 2009, Rakim said,

"The majority of this album has that melodic New York sound- I just tried to make it a good, all-around New York album," he says. "That's why I did songs like 'Euphoria,' with [New York rappers] Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes and Styles P-wanted to make sure our presence was felt."[22]

Production and guests[edit]

Rakim confirmed that The Seventh Seal would have 14 tracks, with the main guests being Maino, I.Q., and his own daughter Destiny Griffin.[13]

Several songs on the album were produced by longtime Rakim collaborator Nick Wiz and featured beats from Nottz, Needlz, SR. Shakur Jake One, and from Italian rapper/producer Bassi Maestro.[13]

Track listing[edit]

The track listing was confirmed by Defsounds and Myspace.[23][24]

# Title Producer(s) Samples and notes Time
1 "How to Emcee" Slyce, YSAE Additional vocals by Tracey Horton 4:13
2 "Walk These Streets" (Feat. Maino) Needlz Additional vocals by Tracey Horton 4:04
3 "Documentary of a Gangsta" (Feat. IQ) Soundsmith Productions (Y-Not) Additional vocals by Keith Alexander Jr. Fogah, Mark Ruglass
4 "Man Above" (Feat. Tracey Horton) Nottz
5 "You and I" (Feat. Samuel Christian) Samuel Christian, J Wells 4:42
6 "Won’t Be Long" (Feat. Tracey Horton) Jake One Bass, Keys and Guitar by G Koop
7 "Holy Are U" Nick Wiz Cuts by Slyce

Additional writing by David Axelrod

Song samples The Electric Prunes "Holy Are you"

8 "Satisfaction Guaranteed" Neo Da Matrix 4:26
9 "Working for You" Bassi Maestro Song samples Robert Cray Bands "I Forgot to be Your Lover"
Original song written and performed by William Bell
10 "Message in the Song" (Feat. Destiny Griffin) Nick Wiz, Lofey 3:52
11 "Put It All to Music" Poppa Pill 4:02
12 "Psychic Love" Nick Wiz
13 "Still in Love" Nick Wiz
14 "Dedicated" Nick Wiz "Don't Speak" by No Doubt 3:35
15 "Euphoria" (Feat. Styles P, Jadakiss & Busta Rhymes) Ty Fyffe Exclusive bonus track via only, announced to the buyers of the album 4:46


  1. ^
  2. ^ Adaso, Henry. Review: The Seventh Seal. Retrieved on 2009-11-21.
  3. ^ Jeffries, David. "Review: The Seventh Seal". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  4. ^ Martins, Chris. Review: The Seventh Seal. The A.V. Club. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  5. ^ Weiss, Jeff. Review: The Seventh Seal. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-17.
  6. ^ Breihan, Tom. Review: The Seventh Seal. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-12-02.
  7. ^ Martin, Andrew. Review: The Seventh Seal. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-11-20.
  8. ^ Cataldo, Jesse. Review: The Seventh Seal. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-11-17.
  9. ^ Reeves, Mosi. Review: The Seventh Seal. Spin. Retrieved on 2009-11-15.
  10. ^ Serwer, Jesse. Review: The Seventh Seal. Time Out. Retrieved on 2009-11-17.
  11. ^ Mlynar, Phillip. Review: The Seventh Seal. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-11-18.
  12. ^ "Hip-Hop Legend RAKIM Drops "Holy Are You" On July 28, 2009. Lead Single From Long Awaited Album THE SEVENTH SEAL". 2003-07-18. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved 2003-08-23.
  13. ^ a b c Paine, Jake (2003-09-24). "Details Emerge On Rakim's Seventh Seal". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  14. ^ Hip Hop Album Sales the Week Ending 11/22/2009. HipHopDX. Retrieved on 2009-11-25.
  15. ^ The Seventh Seal (2009): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-25.
  16. ^ Carpenter, Troy (2003-07-17). "Rakim Parts Ways With Dre's Label". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  17. ^ "Rakim 'The Seventh Seal' Album Details". HHC Digital. 2003-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  18. ^ "Rakim The Seventh Seal Review". 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2003-09-15.
  19. ^ a b Mitchell, Gail (2009-07-13). "Rakim Ready To Release 'The Seventh Seal'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  20. ^ "Rakim Wrapping New CD, Touring With Ghostface". Henry Adaso. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  21. ^ "Rakim Wrapping New CD, Touring With Ghostface". Nielsen Business Media. July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  22. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (November 21, 2009). "6 Questions with Rakim". International Index to Music. Billboard. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  23. ^ "Rakim 'The Seventh Seal' Album Snippets & Tracklist". 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  24. ^ "Rakim 'The Seventh Seal' album stream". 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-11-10.