Birth Name: William Michael Griffin

Place of Birth: Wyandanch, Long Island, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 28, 1968

Ethnicity: African-American, African-Barbadian

Rakim is an American rapper and record producer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all-time. Rakim was a member of the duo Eric B. & Rakim. He is also known as The God MC, Kid Wizard, The R, and The 18th Letter.

Rakim is the son of Cynthia Harewood and Willie Griffin, who was born in Florida. Many sources state his birth name is William Michael Griffin, Jr., but in his memoir, he writes that he is not a junior, and his father’s legal name was Willie, not William.

His aunt is said to have been R&B singer and actress Ruth Brown, though she was only a close family friend.

Rakim’s paternal grandfather was named Charles Griffin.

Rakim’s paternal grandmother was Geraldine Major (the daughter of Henry Major and Louquilla/Luquilla Dozier). Geraldine was born in Georgia. Henry was the son of Enoch Major and Caroline. Louquilla was the daughter of Nelson Dozier and Nettie.

Rakim’s maternal grandfather was named Arthur Cumberbatch.

Rakim’s maternal grandmother was Ruby G. Harewood (the daughter of James/Rufus Harewood and Clara Alberta Powlett). Ruby was born in New York City, to Barbadian parents. Clara was the daughter of Joseph Emmanuel Powlett and Sarah Catherine Greenidge.

Sources: https://www.nochasermagazine.com

Genealogy of Rakim’s parents – https://www.familysearch.org

1 Response

  1. Mr. Postman says:

    Ruth Brown was a close family friend which is why he called her his “aunt”:


    In this article, Brown herself calls Rakim’s parents “my good friends”:


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