Rapper Rakim was arrested on a 2001 warrant by deputies from the Suffolk County sheriff’s department minutes before he was scheduled to perform at a Manhattan concert hall, a sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.
Rakim, whose real name is William Griffin, was set to perform at the Roseland auditorium just before 11 p.m. Tuesday when deputies took him into custody, Chief Alan Otto said.
“It stemmed from a warrant issued in 2001 regarding a paternity matter and an issue of nonpayment of support,” Otto said.
He said the rapper “kind of knew we were looking for him” and surrendered without incident.
Griffin, 36, originally from Wyandanch, appeared before a Suffolk County family court hearing officer Wednesday and was ordered to pay $2,000 in child support pending the resolution of his case.
Following the payment, Griffin was freed and ordered to return to family court on May 26.
Griffin’s lawyer, Robert Kalina, said his client was not aware that a warrant had been issued and insisted the rapper has made child support payments for his 14-year-old son since the boy was born.
“Over the years there have been disputes between him and the mother of the child, financial disputes,” Kalina said. “If he was aware that a warrant had been issued, he certainly would have gone to court.”
The lawyer also contended that Griffin was current with his payments, but paid the $2,000 on Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution.”
Kalina also lamented that authorities could have taken the rapper into custody following Tuesday night’s performance “so the fans could have gotten what they paid for.”
Rakim and former partner Eric B. are best known for their classic 1987 album “Paid in Full.”