In Hip Hop History Today “Rakim released The 18th Letter” November 4, 1997
The 18th Letter is the debut solo album of emcee Rakim, released November 4, 1997 on Universal Records. It is his first release of new material, following a five-year hiatus after Don’t Sweat the Technique (1992) as duo Eric B. & Rakim. The album features production by Clark Kent, Pete Rock, Father Shaheed, Nick Wiz, and DJ Premier. It contains lyrical themes that concern the hip hop’s golden age, Rakim’s rapping prowess, and the state of hip hop. The album debuted at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and sold 500,000 copies in the United States. A deluxe version of The 18th Letter was sold with the compilation disc The Book of Life (UD2-53111) an Eric B. & Rakim greatest hits collection. The Book of Life was also issued separately as a double vinyl LP in 1997. Listen to The 18th Letter above.