Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop • United States
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ERIC B. & RAKIM picture
The premier rap duo of the 1980s, combining an influential beatmaker with a rapper who still tops fan polls as the greatest MC of all time.

They never had a mainstream hit of their own, but during rap's so-called golden age in the late '80s, Eric B. & Rakim were almost universally recognized as the premier DJ/MC team in all of hip-hop. Not only was their chemistry superb, but individually, each represented the absolute state of the art in their respective skills. Eric B. was a hugely influential DJ and beatmaker whose taste for hard-hitting James Brown samples touched off a stampede through the Godfather of Soul's back catalog that continues up to the present day. Rakim, meanwhile, still tops fan polls as the greatest MC of all time. He crafted his rhymes like poetry, filling his lines with elaborate metaphors and complex internal rhymes, and he played with the
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ERIC B. & RAKIM Discography

ERIC B. & RAKIM albums / top albums

ERIC B. & RAKIM Paid In Full album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Paid In Full
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1987
ERIC B. & RAKIM Follow The Leader album cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Follow The Leader
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1988
ERIC B. & RAKIM Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1990
ERIC B. & RAKIM Don't Sweat The Technique album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Don't Sweat The Technique
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1992

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ERIC B. & RAKIM Reviews

ERIC B. & RAKIM Follow The Leader

Album · 1988 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Eric B. & Rakim have long been recognized as one of the top innovators in hip-hop, but they never seem to get recognition for one of their more notable achievements, bringing the musical worlds of jazz and hip-hop together in ways that made sense. Early rap tended to either be ‘electric boogaloo’ oriented, or centered around rock beats like “We Will Rock You”. While there was a trend developing, from bands such as Stetsasonic, to bring in superficial jazz elements such as a trumpet solo or acoustic bass sample, it wasn’t until Eric and Rakim started releasing albums that a true fusion of jazz and hip-hop happened. Eric’s samples and DJ slices favored classic funk and soul jazz, while Rakim’s rhymes on the mic had a syncopated swing and non-stop flow that had him sounding like the Charlie Parker of rap. Although the pair’s first album contained much potential, it wasn’t until the sophomore follow up, “Follow the Leader”, that Eric and Rakim brought the jazz and funk elements much more into the mix.

“Follow the Leader” is the perfect title for this album because it went on to be imitated and followed by others for decades. Eric may not have been the first person to sample and loop a James Brown beat, but on this album he is one of first DJs to create a monster groove around such a technique. Needless to say, sampling Brown became an epidemic after a while, but it still sounds great on here. Sampling was still in its infant stage at this time, but Eric and crew have no problem creating mixes with soul jazz saxophone riffs, Middle Eastern melodies and funky bass lines. Most of the tracks are good, with possibly the best being “Musical Massacre”, which features a driving double time Afro-Latin riff reminiscent of Mandrill or Osibissa. There are a couple lackluster cuts, mostly a few instrumentals which sound dated and repetitious

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