"Hip-hop was really formative for me," says UC Irvine professor Sohail Daulatzai, who remembers listening to seminal acts such as the Sugarhill Gang and Run-D.M.C. while growing up in Los Angeles' Pico-Union district. But it wasn't until hearing Rakim's "Move the Crowd" that he began walking the path that led him to become a much-cited scholar whose books and articles make waves in African-American studies, history, Islamic and music circles. In the song, the legendary rapper rhymed, "All praise due to Allah, and that's a blessing."
Read more on in the OC Weekly People Issue Special out on newsstands today: