By the time Don’t Sweat the Technique appeared in 1992, Eric B. & Rakim were divorced in everything but name. The one track produced by Eric—the relatively gentle “What’s on Your Mind?”—feels separate from the rest of the album, a vision of hard-edged New York City jazz-rap. If not for the album’s cover art, “Rest Assured,” “Casualties,” and “Don’t Sweat the Technique” might be better regarded. They're the equals of canonical songs by Main Source and Gang Starr, and more than any other works from this era, they set the stage for Nas’ Illmatic, the impending apotheosis of New York street rap.