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Eric B. & Rakim
Paid In Full Deluxe Edition

star star star star star

Island
Release Date: 10/28/2003


Landmark debut from New York duo that balanced consciousness with cash worship
Reviewed by Alec Hanley Bemis
In one swoop, the 1987 LP Paid in Full ended rap’s status as novelty music, announced hip-hop’s new school and set the stage for its eventual chart dominance. DJ Eric B.’s taste in samples was impeccable — yep, he introduced James Brown loops to hip-hop — and the lithe interplay of beat and bass line on “Eric B. Is President” flaunts his virtuosic gifts for crafting minimal funk. Rapper Rakim’s stern tone and jazzy flow were revolutionary: One of hip-hop’s first Muslim converts, he rhymes with the authority of Malcolm X and an attention to rhythmic complexity that turned MC’ing on its head. Foreshadowing contemporary hip-hop’s money fetish, the title track boasts not only one of pop’s most sampled beats, but this bit of personal-empowerment-via-bling-bling: “Now I learned to earn ’cause I’m righteous/I feel great!”







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