William Michael Griffin – more commonly known as his stage name Rakim, is undoubtedly one of the most influential emcees of all time. A member of the hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim from the golden age, he first rome to fame in the music scene in the late 80’s. Since then, he has amassed a number of industry awards and has also been inducted into the renowoned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As far as net worth goes however, how wealthy exactly is the MC? Let us take a look.
Rakim Net Worth 2017 – $5 Million
How Did Rakim Make His Money & Wealth?
Born on January 28, 1968 in Long Island, New York, Rakim first made live recordings while still in high school under the moniker, Kid Wizard. At the age of twenty, his talents caught the attention of DJ Eric Barrier, who at the time worked for the WBLS radio station. Recruiting the help of the aspiring MC, Barrier soon took Rakim as his protege. Later that year in 1986, they released a track entitled, Eric B. Is President, which ended up being a success. Little did the two know at the time, that they would eventually become one of the most popular hip hop duos of the era. Wanting to capitalize on the success of their single, the pair- now known as Eric B. & Rakim, forged a recording contract with 4th & Broadway Records; they subsequently released two singles, I Know You Got Soul and Ain’t No Joke. Finally a year later, they came out with their debut album, Paid in Full. A smash hit, it eventually went on to sell over 1,000,000 copies within the United States alone, which resulted in much profits for the artists.
Continuing to record together over the next fews years, Rakim ultimately earned much of his initial wealth while performing and recording with his partner in crime, Eric Barrier. For instance just a year later, they released a second studio album entitled, Follow the Leader, which quickly proved to be yet another hit on the charts. Since then, it has sold more than 500,000 copies domestically- a fact that undoubtedly helped Rakim’s growing wealth at the time. Following up, Eric & Rakim eventually dropped a third album, Let the Rhythm Hit’Em in the summer of 1990; it marked the duo’s third RIAA-certified album. Regarded as the premier MC team in all of hip hop during the late 80’s, they were one of the most influential combos during that period. Just with Eric alone, Rakim has sold well over a million records across the globe.
However his accomplishments does not end there- aside from the success that he attained with Eric, Rakim has also embarked on a successful solo music career. Following the duo’s split in 1993, Rakim signed with the Universal Music Group with whom he later released his debut studio album entitled, The 18th Letter in the fall of 1997. Already bathed in fame from his time as a member of the hip hop duo, the album only increased his already sky-high popularity. Charting at number four on the US Billboard Top 200, it later sold over 500,000 copies, garnering it Gold accreditation from the RIAA.
In 1999, just two years after his initial solo efforts, Rakim released his second full length album, The Master, which proved to be another hit among fans- having sold yet another 500,000 copies in the United States. Since then, he has also dropped another album entitled, The Seventh Seal- which despite not having received RIAA certification, still found its way onto the music chart in the USA. Considering all that’s listed in his discrography and the success that each of them pulled in, it’s not surprising to know that the rapper is fairly well off- and for good reason, he’s one of the most talented MCs that the country has ever seen. Altogether, he’s sold millions of records worldwide- that alone has to be somewhat indicative of his wealth.
In addition to his music gigs, Rakim has also been invited onto numerous TV specials over the years which altogether, must have earned him a decent amount of money. During the 2000’s, he appeared in the documentaries Def Poetry (2002), The Arts of 16 Bars: Get Ya’ Bars Up (2005), The MC: Why We Do It (2005), The Drop (2006), and Ali Rap (2006), to name a few. On top of that, he’s also guest starred in several events such as The Hip Hop Live Tour (2008), BET Hip Hop Award Ceremony (2008), and the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Speaking of television, the rapper’s work has also been featured in various projects throughout the decades from video games to films- for instance, his music has been used in Life as a House (2001), So You Think You Can Dance (2005), Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2012), Parenthood (2012), and Battle of the Year (2013), among others.
Rakims Personal Life & FAQ
Is Rakim Married?
Although some sources claim that the rapper is still single, that is untrue. The last that we’ve heard, Rakim is still happily married to his high-school sweetheart, Felicia with whom he has raised three children with. According to reports, the couple currently lives in a sizable mansion just down the street from comedian, Gene Wilder. Considering how long they’ve been together, it’s probably fair to assume that their relationship is still going on strong.
Previously, Rakim was also in a relationship with a woman named Nicole Smith- although not much is known about her.
Does Rakim have any kids?
With his former partner Nicole Smith, Rakim has a twenty seven year old son (b. 1990). Back in the early 2000’s, headlines were often made regarding his failure to pay his child-support; at the time, Smith contended that the MC was $25,000 behind in payments. From what we can gather, the rapper hasn’t been in regular with his son- at least not during the 2000’s while the allegations were going on.
With Felicia, Rakim has three children as mentioned previously- a daughter named Destiny Griffin (b. 1994), a son named Jabar Griffin (b. 1993) and a son named Tahmell Griffin (b. 1988). Like their father, all have expressed interests in the music industry. While Destiny has involved herself with several albums, Jabar has also been following in Rakim’s footsteps with rap.
Where did Rakim go to college?
After graduating from Wyandanch Memorial High School, Rakim contemplated about going to college- however ultimately decided to opt for a music career with Eric B. instead. Despite never having attained higher education, the rapper was able to attain much success in life.
Where Does Rakim Live? Pictures of Rakim’s House
Assuming that he hasn’t moved, Rakim currently lives in Stamford, Connecticut where he lives in a sizable home (some say he lives just down the road from renowned Comedian Gene Wilder). Unfortunately for curious fans, no one knows exactly where it is that he dwells- so we do not have a picture of his house to show you. Should one ever become available, we will add it to this page.
Why is he called Rakim?
At the age of sixteen, Rakim converted to Faradian Islam, having joined The Nation of Gods and Earth, a cultural movement founded by Clarence 13X. In doing so, he adopted the name Rakim Allah- in honor of the ancient Egyptian kingdom of Kim and the ancient sun god of Ra- which he uses as his stage name to this day.
How much did Rakim Earn Last Year?
Although it’s hard to say how much exactly the rapper has earned last year, we do know that he makes approximately $20,000 (give or take some) per show. Multiply that amount by the amount of performances that he’s given in 2016, and it’s probably well in the hundreds of thousands.
Considering the fact that he will be reuniting with Eric B. for an upcoming tour (their first in over two decades) this year, it’s probably fair to say that he’ll be making a respectable amount come 2017.
Rakim’s Major Life Changing Events
Prior to meeting Eric B, Rakim was simply someone who was unsure of what to pursue in life. It was ultimately their fateful meeting in the mid 80’s that brought him fame and wealth. Just a few years after getting together, the hip hop duo recorded and produced some of the most influencial titles that the country has ever seen at that point including their classic hit, Paid in Full. It was from there, that his fame eventually snowballed to what it is today- to him being one of the world’s most well recognizzed rappers of all time
Why did Rakim and Eric B Break Up?
Considering all that they had going for them, why did the hip hop duo of the golden age decide to break up? Apparently during the recording of what would become their last full length album, Don’t Sweat the Technique, both rappers started to express an interest in going solo. Having said that, Eric B. refused to comply and sign MCA’s release contract as he was fearful that the two would end up splitting for good. What ended up happening from there was that the pair got involved in a court case with their former label; eventually after everything was settled, they decided to go ahead with their respective solo careers.
Having said that, fans have a reason to be excited as it was announced last October via Eric B.’s official Twitter that the duo will be reuniting after 23 years for a worldwide reunion tour. Although the official dates for the event are still in the works, the pair did go on to ask their fans to help them decide on a launch city in a subsequent Tweet- in which New York came out as the most popular answer.