"After You Die" by Rakim Deserves a Deeper Exploration
BY Loren Mayshark
Rakim A Deeper Exploration
The beat of hip-hop has long served as a soundtrack for cities across the US and around the world, inspiring young people and creating a subculture that affects everything from fashion to politics.

Ask any hip hop fanatic about Rakim and they will tell you that hip-hop would not have had the same impact without his massive contributions to the culture and musical genre.

Rakim’s Massive Contribution to Hip-Hop

Rakim is often referred to as “The God MC” for his unparalleled abilities on the microphone. The rapper, who debuted alongside Eric B, is an undisputed father of hip-hop and one of the most respected lyricists in the industry. He is routinely considered one of the 10 greatest rappers of all time.

Growing up a serious hip-hop fan, I have long admired Rakim for his seemingly effortless flow and his deep lyrical content. Songs such as “Waiting for the World to End,” “The Mystery,” and “Documentary of a Gangsta,” are just a few examples of the many tracks that he has written that are not only thought-provoking but almost unparalleled.


One Lesser-Known Rakim Song that Everyone Should Hear

One of the more obscure songs that Rakim has penned is “After you Die.” This three minute and 40 second track not only deserves more recognition, but also additional inquiry.

It is amazingly rare to find a song about the subject with such depth and imagination. Perhaps it is the general apprehension of speaking about death that has kept this gem well hidden for so long.

The song was an unreleased track from the album that Rakim was working on with legendary producer Dr. Dre. The song never came out because Rakim elected to stop working with Dre, citing creative differences.



Thought-provoking Lyrics about Death from Rakim

Rakim offers a sage-like view of the afterlife in the song. He considers multiple viewpoints in the track, balancing between intergalactic speculation and the revisiting of worldly pleasures.

Although he does not come off as eager to die, he says that he is prepared, rapping:

Just in case I pass tonight, yo, I’m prepared for what’s after life. – Rakim

An admirable position that I think few people could say they share with true conviction.

He implores his listeners to “ask yourself, if I pass tonight, am I prepared for what’s after life?” A scary question for many listeners that is certainly worth pondering, at least once. I hope you will enjoy and find this tune as interesting as I have.