Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full

ARTIST: Eric B. & Rakim 220px-RakimPIF

TITLE:  Paid in Full

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: #58 US, #8 US R&B, #85 UK

SINGLES: Eric B. Is President (#48 US R&B), I Ain’t No Joke (#38 US R&B), I Know You Got Soul (#64 US R&B, #13 UK), Move the Crowd (#53 UK), Paid in Full (#65 US R&B, #15 UK), As the Rhyme Goes On (#81 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s 3/5 of the album up there!

LINEUP: Eric B, Rakim

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First album for the DJ / rapper duo that set a new standard for lyrical flow.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Thirty years hence, it’s hard to remember the early days of hip/hop, and how Rakim set a new standard for rhymes and flow. Instead of a simple rhyming pattern, Rakim used internal rhyming schemes to create a great flow and set his raps apart from the crowd.

The beats provided by Eric B. complemented the lyrics and raps, and they also were complex using turntables along with sampling. Three of the cuts are instrumentals showcasing Eric B’s skills.

Yet, those instrumentals do interfere with the overall pace of the album. While impressive, I think they’d better be served as B-sides or bonus tracks. However, that’s rather minor. This is an impressive, and groundbreaking, record.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Eric B. put out an ad wanting ‘New York’s Top MC”, and Rakim answered that ad.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: Classic, but downgraded for the instrumental tracks messing with the sequencing. Still, grab it for your collection.

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