Rakim released ‘The 18th Letter’ on November 4, 1997.
‘The 18th Letter‘ is the debutÂ solo albumÂ of the God MC, Rakim. The album wasÂ released November 4, 1997 onÂ Universal RecordsÂ in the United States. It is his first release of new material, following a five-year hiatus afterÂ Don’t Sweat the TechniqueÂ (1992) as duoÂ Eric B. & Rakim. The album features production byÂ DJ Clark Kent,Â Pete Rock, Father Shaheed, Nick Wiz andÂ DJ Premier. It contains lyrical themes that concern theÂ 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.Â BillboardÂ 200Â chart and sold 500,000 copies in the United States.Â A deluxe version ofÂ The 18th LetterÂ was sold with the compilation discÂ The Book of Life, an Eric B. & Rakim greatest hits collection.Â The Book of LifeÂ was also issued separately as a double vinyl LP in 1997.