Eric B. & RakimHip-Hop | 2010
Eric B. & Rakim are considered one of the most influential and innovative artists in hip-hop history. Emerging during rap’s Golden Age from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, they are widely regarded as the premiere DJ/MC combo. Eric B. is praised for his unique beat-making and turntable skills and is credited with popularizing the use of James Brown samples. Rakim still tops polls as the greatest MC of all time and is known for his internal raps, smooth jazz-like delivery, and complex poetic rhymes. Eric B. was born in Elmhurst, Queens, and Rakim grew up in Wyandanch on Long Island. Eric B. became a DJ in high school and eventually got a job as a mobile DJ for the radio station WBLS, where he met Rakim. The two got together with Queens hip-hop producer Marley Marl and made their legendary single “Eric B. Is President” in 1986. In 1987, the group recorded their classic album Paid in Full in one week at Power Plays Studio. 4th and Broadway released the album, and it quickly climbed into the R&B Top 10. The famous album cover, which features the group in Gucci leather suits with dollar bills behind them, became one of the most iconic hip-hop images of all time.