Eric B. & Rakim, Paid In Full (1987)
Label: 4th & B'way, Island
Gunplay: "That's when wordplay really started getting important. Gangsta wordplay though, not just wordplay, just regular club shit, but gangsta wordplay. It really got poppin' then. That's why I really started loving Nas' music, because he was using that Rakim flow that just don't stop, don't breathe between your rhymes like niggas was doing. It would just keep going. Nas did the same thing.
"That one Nas record where he's like 'He inhaled so deep, shut his eyes like he was sleep/Started coughing, one eye peeked to watch me speak/I sat back like The Mack, my army suit was black/We was chilling on these benches where he pumped his loose cracks/I took the L when he passed it, this little bastard.' You know that record? 'They caught me bustin off the roof-' That's what really reminded me of Rakim, when he was doing that record. "One Love."
"'Thinking of a masterplan,' and I was in New York back then too. I was seeing the culture first-hand. I was about seven, eight. I moved to Florida when I was ten.
"I was born in Texas. I lived in Texas until I was three, moved to New York with my family. My mom and dad was originally from New York, and I moved back there with them until I was nine. I moved to Miami, and spent my tenth birthday in Miami. Everybody was playing [hip-hop]. It was the epicenter of hip-hop. My cousins, everybody everywhere you go, it was hip-hop. It was all that, that's all you knew.
"[When I got to Florida], they were listening to a whole other shit. I was like, 'What the fuck?' They were listening to JT Money. They were listening to Luke, "Pop That Pussy" and all that. I like it because the bitches like it, and like dancing to it. But after a while, you listen to it and just the culture of Miami and what Miami is about, you really start understanding why they like that music. The more you dig into these streets, you understand. I've been here for 23 years so..."