Eric B. & Rakim - Move The Crowd

  • From 1987 Album: "Paid In Full".....
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    Eric B. & Rakim were a hip-hop duo composed of DJ Eric Barrier and MC Rakim Allah (born William Michael Griffin Jr.).
    Hailing from Long Island, New York, the pair is generally considered by hip hop enthusiasts to be one of the most influential and innovative groups in the genre. During hip hop's so-called golden age of the mid-1980s to the early 90s, the duo was almost universally regarded as the premier MC/DJ combo in hip hop. The two had a potent chemistry and each represented the height of innovation in their respective roles: Rakim was the master lyricist, an innovative talent who pushed the art of hip hop lyricism to new creative heights with his use of internal rhyme, sophisticated metaphors, and with a methodical-yet-effortless delivery; the duo's beats built on the hard-hitting sound of Run-D.M.C. by adding James Brown samples and Eric B's extensive scratching skills, setting the stage for hip hop's late-1980s/early-1990s infatuation with samples from the Godfather of Soul.
    Born in 1965, Eric Barrier was born and raised in the Elmhurst area of Queens. Born in 1968 and raised in Wyandanch, Long Island, William Michael Griffin converted to The Nation of Gods and Earths (also known as the 5 Percent Nation) at age 16 and began writing rhymes. Barrier, who had played trumpet and drums throughout high school, switched to turntables prior to graduation and soon, the newly-dubbed "Eric B." began DJing for radio station WBLS in New York. Eric B. would DJ for WBLS' mobile events around the city and wound up meeting Alvin Toney, a promoter based in Queens. Eric B. had been looking for rappers and Toney recommended he use Freddie Foxxx, an aggressive Queens MC with a reputation for battle raps. Toney took Eric B. to Foxxx's home, but the rapper wasn't there. Immediately, Toney suggested another option. Eric B. recalled in 2008, "[Toney] was like 'I got another dude, he nice too--this dude got a smooth, laid-back style.' So [he] takes me to Rakim's house and we start talking." Eric B. borrowed records from Rakim's brother, Stevie Blass Griffin (who worked at a plant pressing bootleg LPs) and began cutting them in the basement for Rakim, who was down there drinking a beer and relaxing. Said Eric B., "I took Fonda Reas Over Like A Fat Rat and said 'This is the bass line Im going to use for this record.' Rakim spit the beer all over the wall and thought it was the funniest shit in the world. I told Rakim, just like you laughing now you going to be laughing all the way to the bank and be a millionaire one day because of this record."
    Eric B. & Rakim decided to record together and immediately came under the tutelage of legendary Queens-based hip hop producer Marley Marl, and there exists some controversy over who actually produced their landmark first single, 1985s "Eric B. Is President"—which was built on the distinctive Fonda Rea bass line sample. Eric B. told, "I took the records to Marley Marls house in Queensbridge and paid Marley Marl to be the engineer. Marley got paid. Thats why hes not a producer; thats why he is not getting publishing. I brought the music. I just couldnt work the equipment because thats not what I did...". Nonetheless, the single became an instant classic among hip hop fans, (though it went largely unnoticed in mainstream music), and Rakim's opening salvo of I came in the door/said it before would become one of the most quoted lines in hip hop music.
    Paid In Full Album:
    After Rakim responded to Eric B.'s search for a rapper to complement his disc jockey work in 1985, the duo recorded the album at hip hop producer Marley Marl's home studio and Power Play Studios in New York City. The album peaked at number fifty-eight on the Billboard 200 and produced five singles; "Eric B. Is President", "I Ain't No Joke", "I Know You Got Soul", "Move the Crowd", and "Paid in Full".
    Paid in Full is credited as a benchmark album of golden age hip hop. Rakim's rapping, which pioneered the use of internal rhymes in hip hop, set a higher standard of lyricism in the genre and served as a template for future rappers. The album's heavy sampling by Eric B. became influential in hip hop production. The record has sold over a million copies and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it platinum in 1995. In 2003, the album was ranked number 227 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
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    Category : hip hop old school