Eric B & Rakim, Paid In Full (1987)

Label: 4th & B’way/Island

Pusha T: “That was the changing of the guard. That’s when hip hop couldn’t get any louder or more rambunctious than Run. These guys were just as loud, but the style was different. Rakim was just that motherfucker.

“Rakim embodied the seriousness. My sister was in love with Rakim. I used to be like, ‘Why this guy?’ She’d be like, ‘Because he never smiles.’ I’m like, ‘I didn’t think that was a good thing.’

 

My sister was in love with Rakim. I used to be like, ‘Why this guy?’ She’d be like, ‘Because he never smiles.’ I’m like, ‘I didn’t think that was a good thing.

 

“I remember going to the south Bronx and telling my cousins that Run-DMC was the best. They were like, ‘Fuck no. Take this. This is who the best is right now. That shit you’re talking about is old. Shit’s switched up. We’re done with that. This is the new shit.’ That’s what it meant to me. I was floored.

“Run-DMC was street, but the Rakim era took it to street-corner fresh. The Rakim era influenced everybody. Not to say that Rakim was the one who did it, because I believe it was the street guys that influenced the raps, but he was just a part of that era. His rhymes were so good it might be taken back to him.

“To this day, I’m in the midst of buying jewelery, and I have to think of styles I want to do, and I go back to the Supreme Team album cover. That’s in 2011. It still resonates. I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll do that with the 2011 spin on it.” I didn’t go to anything in the past five or ten years, I went to that. That’s what Rakim and them did.”