In 1986, Eric B. (Eric Barrier) arrived in Long Island from Queens, looking for the
standout MC that the peninsula had to offer. As legend has it, Rakim
and the legendary DJ made the historic link even though Barrier
had his eyes on another young rapper named Freddie Foxxx. With the end
of the decade, Eric B. made albums with both MCs one much more
storied than the other – who took very different approaches to their
lyrics and deliveries.
Twenty years later, a sweltering conflict has finally bubbled to the surface.
Both Rakim and Foxxx have evolved into their own legends, respectively, just in
vastly different ways. Rakim’s status has reached mythic levels, as a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop deity. Meanwhile, Freddie Foxxx’s star has risen
through an intimidating “Bumpy Knuckles” character, who proclaimed himself, the king of the underground sound. It may not be the ’80s, but these titans still clash as if it were.
In a recent online interview, Rakim explicitly stated that Foxxx was
“not ferocious” as an MC. Upon hearing this, Freddie Foxxx recorded
“The King is Down”, a scathing diss of Ra to be included on
Amerikkkan Black Man, Foxxx’s forthcoming studio album. The
album, featuring production from DJ Scratch, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier, overtly criticizes rappers as well, but it’s this one challenge, perhaps 20
years overdue, that has fans raising eyebrows. AllHipHop.com met
Freddie Foxxx in the studio, and spoke about Rakim, guns, and the glory of an American Black man.
AllHipHop.com: The problem with Rakim stems from an interview with HalfTimeOnline.com, where Rakim said, that Foxxx aint ferocious. What was your initial reaction upon reading that?
Freddie Foxxx: [Laughs] At first, I was mad, because I was like, Here he go again. Like, the thing about Rakim and me is, every time somebody ever said something to him about me, he always took it as what it was even when he found out it wasnt true, he never came back to me and said, Oh, I found out that the s**t the n***a said about Foxxx in reference to me wasnt true. I said, How could Rakim let this f**kin guy [J. Butters] whos interviewin him, bait him into sayin this bulls**t, when he know [that] I know he aint built like that! Im tellin you what I know: Rakim know I will eat his ass alive on any record, any stage, anywhere, anytime. Hes not built like that. Rakim aint never had no battles. In the interviews, hes talkin bout all these battles he had, he ducked [Big Daddy] Kane for years. Van Silk had a battle set up with him and Kane [for $70,000], he aint show up. How the f**k you gonna write six bars about Big Daddy Kane? F**k is that about? How dare this n***a say [that] I aint ferocious. Did the n***a hear The Militia? Did he hear R.N.S.? Did he hear Stock in the Game? Did he hear P.A.I.N.E.? Did he listen to the record? Did he read the interviews? This n***a know me. He know me! So Im like, Yo, this aint the first time that ever happened. Why this mothaf**ka talkin all that s**t like he believin his own press clippings and s**t? That s**t is not real to me. Im like, Yo, f**k it, its on. He drew first blood, now, lets see if he can handle the aftermath of what it is no pun intended.
AllHipHop.com: There is a history here. We have previously spoken about the studio session for Eric B. For President that Ego Trip wrote about you not being there, Rakim being there, history was made. Does this difference between two people stem back to that?
Freddie Foxxx: You know, everybody got the story f**kin wrong, man. The real story [is] I didnt have a session. Eric B. didnt even have a rapper. The true story, the way it goes is that Eric B. came out to Long Island with a cat named Alvin Toney you hear Rakim [now mentioning] Alvin Toney, and he aint never mentioned Alvin before. Alvin Toney brought Eric B. out to Long Island. Eric asked him, Whos the dopest rapper out here? Alvin Toney, verbatim, told him, My man Taheems brother. That kid Freddie is the dopest rapper out here in this part right here. I was drivin, and I had a big-ass Cadillac at the time, and I see Eric in the street with a fur coat on with a leather hat turned backwards with this jewelry all over the f**kin place, and Alvin flags me down. He was like, Yo, this Eric B. He lookin for somebody to do this record for him. I took it as Okay, whats up? He was like, Meet me at your house at five oclock, I remember like it was yesterday, I was like, Aiight, Ill be there. But as I was driving, I was like, this is just another cat comin out here, and he dont want my guys. I was in [a group called] The Supreme Force, he didnt want [members] Eric and Kirk, he wanted me. I had a plan with them. I wasnt gonna abandon them to work with Eric. The second person he took him to, when I didnt show up for the meeting, was Rakim. Rakim was in a group too but he aint see it like I seen it. He looked at is as an opportunity to get his self in position to do what he do. I respected that. He did it, and Im glad it happened that way. Cause I dont know if that wouldve been the same history, who knows?
I think Eric B. & Rakim as a group, made history together. Look at everything Rakim said in the interview about me. [Quoting] I was dope in the group, but individually, I wasnt ferocious. But he made hit records with Eric B. and dropped all this bulls**t afterwards. The Master and all that f**kin garbage he dropped, that s**t was all trash! But nobody ever said that to his face! All that s**t was garbage. No classic s**t on them albums even the stuff he got from Pete Rock and [DJ] Premier, without them beats bein what they was, it just another Rakim bulls**t, tiring, sleepy-ass flow doin that same ole bulls**t. But he tell you I aint ferocious as an individual, throughout the years, without a major figure behind me, still kept my name poppin in the street. Now hes in my position, and he aint poppin. He doin old school s**t that he did with Eric, cause thats where his legacy lies. But his new s**t is bulls**t all bulls**t, everybody know that s**t is garbage. And anybody who say otherwise is f**kin d*ck-riding.
He dont go to the studio. He dont show up to his f**kin sessions. I made the f**kin Freddie Foxxx is Here album cause that n***a didnt come to the f**kin studio. Eric said, Foxxx, just work til Rakim get here, 30 f**kin days, he aint show up, a whole month. [Thats your] f**kin job! Thats his M.O. But his ego is so f**kin big that he gonna get in a magazine Im f**kin fed up with that n***a, f**k him! Its always the same f**kin s**t with this guy. If youre really that nice, man, and you a legend, then put me in my place. Where you at? Put me in my mothaf**kin place, Rakim Allah, put me in my place then. F**k him, man! Im pissed off because he aint gonna get on the mic and say nothin, know why, cause he think he helpin me. [MTV News] asked me recently, You may just want publicity because your album comin out. If I wanted publicity, I wouldve dissed somebody like 50 Cent or somebody big. I dont have a problem with them, my issues with mothaf**kas is real issues. Im tired of this n***a. Every time Rakim hear my name, he got some slick s**t to say, bring it!
AllHipHop.com: The King is Down is the record youve got that addresses this. Eric B.s on the intro. Did he play any other role in this? Whyd you get him?
Freddie Foxxx: Eric didnt have anything to do with this record other than, Yo E, I need you to come intro this record. And he came. Eric has been my man. Me and Eric have had our ups and downs, and theres been times where me and Eric have disagreed on things, and I thought that Eric didnt do some things right by me, and he thought I overreacted, but the one thing about Eric I respect is, he know how to come back to the table as a man and whatever his issue is with me, we talk about it face to face. I asked him to intro the record. I said, If Im lyin[on the record] B, dont do it. If I wasnt the one that you wanted to rock with in the beginning like Rakim says Im makin that up then dont do it.
Rakim told the dude in the article that I wanted to battle him. I never said that. I never tried to big myself up over Rakim, ever. But had he picked up the phone and said, Yo Foxxx, blahzay blah, he wouldve known that. But this is the third or forth time. This was the last straw, man. Im tellin you right now, if he go into the studio, I dont care who do the beat, Rakim is over! Peoplell respect him because of who he is, but he aint nice. Hes a wrap. Its over! Over!
AllHipHop.com: On The Militia, you said youre one of the livest MCs, ever. If we grabbed ten people on the street, I believe at least four would say Rakim is Hip-Hops greatest lyricist. Does this battle or call out allow listeners to compare those two qualities?
Freddie Foxxx: In the past, when he was doing stuff like My Melody, to me, they classic songs. I cant knock them records. Im sayin, I know for a fact that Rakim wasnt the best rapper out of the clique of rappers he came from. There were times I know when Rakim was supposed to be on stage, doin shows, and he wasnt there, they put Snake Bliss on stage and pulled the hat down on his head, and youd think it was Rakim wasnt Rakim. Hes lackadaisical. He get in situations where he move like a turtle. Everything is slow with him. Rakim knows how to pen certain things in, but where does all this dope lyrical s**t comin from? I think the dopest line I ever heard him say was, I take seven MCs, put em in a line / Take seven more brothers who think they can rhyme / And take seven more, before I go for mine / And 21 MCs What the f**k, he can add? Big f**kin deal. He aint nicer than Kane, Kanes career was bigger. He aint nicer than LL, LLs career was bigger. He aint nicer than KRS-One, KRS-Ones career was bigger.
He opened up a can of worms now, because Im tired of his mouth. If Rakim is so nice, than hopefully Oh My God or whateva his album is gonna be called will represent. Im dyin to see it. Hopefully, I can boost his heat up. But I dont see it, dog, Im sorry.
Check out Part Two of Freddie Foxxxs interview with AllHipHop.com.