This week, we’re gonna take a look at two men who have been neglected on this site: Eric B. and Rakim. A lot of the most popular all rappers of all-time owe their styles and content to Rakim, who was one of the first to break away from the simple rhyme schemes and high energy that dominated early hip-hop. He developed his own authoratative style on the mic, going against hip-hop norms and using a more jazz influenced flow that held no boundaries or specific pattern. Backed with dope beats from his DJ, and future Mike Tyson bodyguard, Eric B., the duo took the hip-hop scene by storm with their classic debut “Paid in Full”, which raised the bar for hip-hop albums, and fueled the rise in popularity and standard for sampled records. It was exceptionally well and scored perfect reviews from every major media outlet, including the elusive “5 Mic” review from The Source.
“Thinkin of a master plan, cuz ain’t nothin but sweat inside my hand…”
The title track from Paid In Full captured my attention the first time I heard it over a decade ago. The bassline was fly, but it was the lyrics that definitely sealed the deal (that don’t happen no mo). Maybe it was just the hall of fame break from 3:31 of The Soul Searchers’ “Ashley Roach Clip”. Rakim, like the rest of us, was just trying to make it. Pay us in full.(P.Walsh/K.Casey)