Eric B & Rakim Essentials
Eric B. & Rakim revolutionized rap. Prior to the duo's 1987 classic debut, Paid in Full, rappers took sort of a sputtering approach to rhyming. Rakim introduced a more laidback, controlled rhythmic cadence. MCs followed suit. Ra was ahead of his time. His lyrics are still considered top-notch by modern standards. Countless MCs have reinterpreted his lyrics over the years and his gravelly voice has been sampled just as often. Rakim and Eric B. collaborated on the boards—sampling soul and funk greats like Parliament-Funkadelic and James Brown to complement Ra's rhymes to a tee. Rakim was known as the God before JAY Z. Nas has mentioned Ra as one of his inspirations. The duo's career fittingly spanned hip-hop's golden age—from 1987 to 1992. They're remembered as arguably the best group of that era. They split after Don't Sweat the Technique in 1992.