In a recent interview with Connecticut's Hot 93.7, Rakim discussed the current state of the rap game, and the role New York plays.

"There is a certain realm of hip-hop [dying] and you might have to blame that on New York," Rakim told radio personality Jenny Boom Boom. "New York is responsible for bringing that raw, that real gritty hip-hop, because we...originated it."

While complaining about the state of the music isn't new, Rakim is one of the originators, one of the legendary lyricists that pushed the limits of the art and made it more than just dance music. When Nas first announced the death of the art form, it was as much a marketing tactic, or slogan, as proclamation. For Rakim to concede that New York has fallen off is a bit different.

"New York and the east coast, we gotta represent and we gotta do our part." Ra continued. "And it's okay for everybody else to do what they do. Then it will be a balance and everybody will be happy. But once New York and the east coast start submitting certain sounds, right now, then yeah, a certain element of hip-hop will definitely die."

Having said that, Ra had some positive thoughts on the subject as well, "I'm feeling good, optimistic and I'm hoping people understand that power that hip-hop got. I hope everybody understands the time we in right now, and I hope everybody wanna make some good music and keep hip-hop alive."

Check out the interview here.