"New York (Ya Out There)": Rakim
Production: DJ Premier
Album: The 18th Letter
"Mecca, Pelan, Medina the population increase The desert and the oasis, New York, the far east With Gods and sheiks, pretty Amazons for weeks Player dons that fleece the family's black sheep"
Rakim will always be best known for his partnership with Eric B, but his collaborations with DJ Premier are some of his finest work. They might not be his deepest tracks in terms of content, but they each use their songs together as excuses to show off.
This track is one of those examples where Rakim just raps for raps sake. "New York (Ya Out There") along with other hits such as "When I B On Tha Mic" and "Classic", begins with Premo meshing sample after sample to set the scene before the beat even kicks in, and Rakim enters. There isn't much point to the track, there's very little story at least in the first couple of verses, it's just Rakim flexing how many internal rhymes he can fit into a single line within the vague mood-board of New York - "comrades quest to be the next to finesse/collect debts and select bets with death threats/object".
This may be taken from Rakim's debut solo album, but with DJ Premier by his side, he's never truly alone. Aw.