The 50 Best Storytelling Rap Songs

43. Eric B. & Rakim "Mahogany" (1990)

Album: Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em
Producer: Eric B. & Rakim
Label: MCA Records

Eric B. and Rakim's 1990 album Let The Rhythm Hit Em didn't reach the resounding commercial success that its predecessors Paid in Full and Follow the Leader did, but its not without its moments of greatness. One of these is "Mahogany," a slick love song that finds Rakim describing his appeal to a woman through a series of clever nutritional metaphors ("Each moment's a mineral, poetry's protein/ verse is a vitamin, effects like codeine") that manage to relay the intensity of the pair's growing attraction without mawkishly providing details about the sex. The closest Rakim gets to laying it all out for the listener is the smirking satisfaction of the coy closing line, where he notes that, "it wasn't the Perignon that made her collapse over me."

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