14 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rakim had already established himself as the best rapper in hip-hop when he and DJ Eric B. released their second album. Follow the Leader certifies this reputation, beginning with the title track, which brims with metaphysics and metaphors inspired by the Five Percent sect of the Nation of Islam. He uses lyrics to invite us into his mind on “The R,” while his commanding voice on “Microphone Fiend” draws you close. Add beats that loop funk samples and drum breaks into stunners like “Musical Massacre”—it’s a visceral combination.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rakim had already established himself as the best rapper in hip-hop when he and DJ Eric B. released their second album. Follow the Leader certifies this reputation, beginning with the title track, which brims with metaphysics and metaphors inspired by the Five Percent sect of the Nation of Islam. He uses lyrics to invite us into his mind on “The R,” while his commanding voice on “Microphone Fiend” draws you close. Add beats that loop funk samples and drum breaks into stunners like “Musical Massacre”—it’s a visceral combination.

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