Rakim Cancels Rescheduled European Tour Amid ‘Obstacles’

DXCLUSIVE – 

Rakim has canceled his previously postponed European, with both the promoter and the legendary MC giving differing explanations as to what had happened.

In an exclusive email to HipHopDX, one of the European promoters forwarded an email that was reportedly sent by Rakim’s manager to all the promoters in the area.

“With great remorse, we have come to the conclusion that Rakim’s planned European tour in May and June is no longer a feasible possibility for us and have decided to cancel the trip over,” read the email, in part. “There are a number of reasons for this (travel logistics, medical complications, personal obligations…. and to be quite blunt, mental and physical exhaustion after a year in which Rakim performed at over 120 events).”

The email continued: “Each of these as a stand-alone may not be a sufficient explanation to pull out of the tour, but cumulatively they add up… and I am not confident that we would be able to pull off 27+ shows in the time frame allotted and keep the standard of performance at the level Rakim’s fans expect and deserve.”

The promoter went on to say that Rakim’s reputation in Europe is “ruined” as a result of this cancelation.

“That is pure bullshit,” he said. “Rakim just didnt felt like going and manager tells us he tried to convince him since January, even know he cancelled in 2022 due to corona, 2023 due to Hip Hop 50 and didn’t [give] any proper excuse this time. Rakim destroys his legacy in Europe now.”

However, Rakim’s manager, Matthew Kemp, offered additional details in a statement to HipHopDX, explaining that one of the main factors were travel logistics, which led he and his team to have to figure out how to overcome “one obstacle after another.”

“Rakim does not fly – he has not been on a plane since 1998 – and there were a [number] of problems related to that,” Kemp wrote.  “Securing his travel by boat (the Queen Mary) was impossible and most of the suitable ground transport on the continent was either booked, simply too expensive or required re-routing dates.”

He added: “The schedule was also trying to cram 27 dates into a very short period of time forcing Ra to go non-stop and scheduling some of the biggest markets on less-than-ideal early wwekday [sic] slot.  Add to that, we were experiencing delays with visas.”

In May of last year, Rakim was on the receiving end of some nasty backlash after postponing his European tour for a second time, with some fans branding him “disrespectful.”

Taking to Instagram, the Paid in Full MC revealed that there were too many scheduling conflicts to contend with, thus needing to move his European dates around.

“As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, I’ve been blessed with so many calls and invitations to represent the pioneers of this genre at innumerable once-in-a-generation events and awards,” he wrote in a statement. “These blessings have unfortunately created so many calendar conflicts that it’s simply not possible to travel internationally and still put on the undistracted shows Europe deserves after so many years.”

The tour had originally been scheduled to take place in September of 2022; and the move from June 2023 to this upcoming summer left fans very disappointed.

Kemp acknowledged the previous scheduling changes for Rakim’s planned European tour, actually citing those conflicts as part of what ultimately led their team to cancel the upcoming dates.

“After postponing for Covid in 2022 and then again for a crazed 100+ event 2023 HH50 schedule, we were backed into a corner having to roll the dice everything would work out at the end, or risk canceling last minute hurting fans who had made travel and time off plans,” he concluded. “We decided it was better to step back and regroup while giving everyone plenty of notice.”

While his summer plans may have shifted, Rakim has a shot at adding another milestone to his storied career, as he and former partner in rhyme Eric B. among the 2024 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame nominees.

Ed Lover Says There’d Be No JAY-Z, Nas Or Biggie Without Rakim

Ed Lover Says There’d Be No JAY-Z, Nas Or Biggie Without Rakim

The full list of artists nominated this year, which totals 15, was announced on February 10 on the organization’s website and across its social channels. To be eligible for nomination, an artist must have released their debut album at least 25 years earlier. Ten of the new nominees, including Carey, have never been previously nominated.

The other artists to be nominated for induction are A Tribe Called QuestMary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Cher, Oasis, Jane’s Addiction, Peter Frampton, Sade, Lenny Kravitz, Foreigner, Kool and the Gang, Sinéad O’Connor, Dave Matthews Band and Ozzy Osbourne who has already been inducted as a member of Black Sabbath.

Blige, A Tribe Called Quest and Eric B & Rakim having all been nominated previously but again returning to ballot for entry into the Hall of Fame.

Fans can vote for up to seven of their faves, once per day through April 26 by visiting the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame’s website. The final list of inductees will be announced in late April and will be honored at the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland this fall. The special will be livestreamed on Disney+ and re-aired on ABC and Hulu at a later date.


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