Eric B. & Rakim

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Eric B. & Rakim
Eric b. and rakim.jpg
Publicity still of Eric B. (left) and Rakim (right)
Background information
Origin New York, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop, East Coast hip hop
Years active1986–1993, [1] 2016–present
Labels 4th & B'way, Uni, MCA
Associated acts Marley Marl, Jody Watley, Large Professor
Website www.ericbnrakim.com
Members Eric B.
Rakim

Eric B. & Rakim are a hip hop duo formed in Long Island, New York, in 1986, composed of Eric B. (born Eric Barrier) and MC Rakim (born William Michael Griffin Jr.). AllMusic wrote that "during rap's so-called golden age in the late '80s, Eric B. & Rakim were almost universally recognized as the premier DJ/MC team in all of hip-hop." [2] Tom Terrell of NPR called them "the most influential DJ/MC combo in contemporary pop music period," [3] while the editors of About.com ranked them as No. 5 on their list of the 10 Greatest Hip-Hop Duos of All-Time. [4]

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

Long Island island in New York, United States of America

Long Island is a densely populated island off the East Coast of the United States, beginning at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) from Manhattan Island and extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The island comprises four counties in the U.S. state of New York. Kings and Queens Counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds. More than half of New York City's residents now live on Long Island, in Brooklyn and Queens. However, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term Long Island to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which are mainly suburban in character, conversely employing the term the City to mean Manhattan alone.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Contents

Career

Early years and Paid in Full

Eric Barrier was born and raised in the East Elmhurst section of Queens, New York. He played trumpet and drums throughout high school, and later switched to experimenting with turntables prior to graduation. The newly dubbed "Eric B." soon began DJing for radio station WBLS in New York City, including WBLS' promotional events around the city. Barrier wound up meeting Alvin Toney, a promoter based in Queens. Eric B. had been looking for rappers and Toney recommended he use Freddie Foxxx, a Long Island MC. Toney took Eric B. to Foxxx's home, but Foxxx was not there, so Toney suggested another option: William Griffin, a.k.a. Rakim. [5] [6]

East Elmhurst, Queens neighborhood in Queens, New York City

East Elmhurst is a middle-class neighborhood in the northwest section of the New York City borough of Queens, in the United States. It is located east of Jackson Heights and north of Corona, and is bound by Junction Boulevard on the west, Northern Boulevard on the south, and Flushing Bay on the north and east. The area includes LaGuardia Airport, located on the shore of Flushing Bay.

Queens Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island. To its east is Nassau County. Queens also shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Coterminous with Queens County since 1899, the borough of Queens is the second largest in population, with an estimated 2,358,582 residents in 2017, approximately 48 percent of them foreign-born. Queens County also is the second most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, behind Brooklyn, which is coterminous with Kings County. Queens is the fourth most densely populated county among New York City's boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City's boroughs were an independent city, Queens would be the nation's fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. It is also the most ethnically diverse county in the United States.

Trumpet musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family

A trumpet is a brass instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC; they began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music. They are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have primarily been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape.

Eric B. & Rakim began their critically acclaimed partnership in 1986 with the release of "Eric B. is President" / "My Melody". Eric B. featuring Rakim - Eric B. is President-My Melody (Zakia Records-1986) (Side A).jpg
Eric B. & Rakim began their critically acclaimed partnership in 1986 with the release of "Eric B. is President" / "My Melody".

Griffin had begun writing rhymes as a teenager in Wyandanch and had taken the name "Rakim" as a result of his conversion to The Nation of Gods and Earths. Eric B. borrowed records from Rakim's brother, Stevie Blass Griffin (who worked at a plant pressing bootleg albums) and began cutting them in the basement for Rakim, who was down there drinking a beer and relaxing. Said Eric B., "I took Fonda Rae's "Over Like A Fat Rat" and said 'This is the bass line I'm 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." [5]

Five-Percent Nation religious movement

The Five-Percent Nation, sometimes referred to as the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE/NOGE) or the Five Percenters, is a movement founded in 1964 in the Harlem section of the borough of Manhattan, New York City by Allah the Father, who was previously known as Clarence 13X and, before that, Clarence Edward Smith.

Fonda Rae American R&B singer

Fonda Rae Wood is an American R&B singer best known for her club hits like "Over Like a Fat Rat" and "Touch Me".

Eric B. & Rakim decided to record together and came under the tutelage of Marley Marl. Stories vary over who actually produced their first single, 1986s "Eric B. Is President" (often cited as "Eric B For President" because of a mistake made when licensing the recording). Built on the Fonda Rea bass line sample, Eric B. later told AllHipHop, "I took the records to Marley Marl's house in Queensbridge and paid Marley Marl to be the engineer. Marley got paid. That's why he's not a producer; that's why he is not getting publishing. I brought the music. I just couldn't work the equipment because that's not what I did..." [5]

Marley Marl American rapper

Marlon Williams, better known by his stage name Marley Marl, is an American DJ, record producer, rapper and record label founder, primarily operating in hip hop music. Marlon grew up in Queensbridge housing projects located in Queens New York. He is credited with influencing a number of hip hop icons such as RZA, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock. He was also featured on Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid In Full" from their debut album which was also recorded in his studio. As a producer, one notable project was LL Cool J's Mama Said Knock You Out. Marley Marl became interested in music, by performing in local talent shows, during the early days of rap music. He caught his big break in 1984, with artist Roxanne Shante's hit Roxanne's Revenge. Marley Marl is also responsible for starting the musical band Juice Crew alongside DJ Mr. Magic.

Single (music) Type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Eric B. Is President single by Eric B. & Rakim

"Eric B. Is President" is the debut single released by hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. The bassline is an interpolation of Fonda Rae's "Over Like a Fat Rat". Marley Marl is often credited with handling production duties for the song, but Eric B. has disputed this in recent interviews. Said Eric B.:

"I took Fonda Rea’s “Over Like A Fat Rat” and said 'This is the bass line I’m 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."

The duo recorded its debut album, Paid in Full , at Power Play Studios in New York. The album was named in part after the Paid in Full posse, a notorious New York collective of gangsters and rappers: including the original 50 Cent, Killer Ben, Kool G Rap and Freddie Foxxx. The Paid in Full posse are featured on the back cover of the album. In 1987, 4th & B'way Records issued the album. After the success of "Eric B. is President", the album climbed into the Top Ten on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. [7] Eric B. would later admit that the album was rushed. "The reason Paid In Full is so short is because we stood in the studio for damn-near a week. The whole album came together in a week. Listen to the lyrics on it and listen to how short they are. That's because Rakim wrote it right there and we'd been in the studio like for a whole forty-eight hours trying to get the album finished." [5] Rakim agrees: "[I] used to write my rhymes in the studio and go right into the booth and read them. When I hear my first album today I hear myself reading my rhymes - but I'm my worst critic. That's what I hear, though - because that's what it was. I'd go into the studio, put the beat down, write the song in like an hour, and go into the booth and read it from the paper..." [8] Marley Marl stated that his cousin MC Shan was an assistant engineer on some tracks, including the single "My Melody," though Eric B. denies this. [5] MTV listed the album as the greatest in hip hop history: 'When Paid in Full was released in 1987, Eric B. and Rakim left a mushroom cloud over the hip-hop community. The album was captivating, profound, innovative and instantly influential. MCs like Run-DMC, Chuck D and KRS-One had been leaping on the mic shouting with energy and irreverence, but Rakim took a methodical approach to his microphone fiending. He had a slow flow, and every line was blunt, mesmeric. And Eric B. had an ear for picking out loops and samples drenched with soul and turned out to be a trailblazer for producers in the coming years.' [9] The record has sold over a million copies and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it platinum in 1995. [10] On the heels of the albums' success, the duo signed a deal with MCA.

<i>Paid in Full</i> (album) 1987 studio album by Eric B. & Rakim

Paid in Full is the debut album of American hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, released on July 7, 1987, by Island-subsidiary label 4th & B'way Records. The duo recorded the album at hip hop producer Marley Marl's home studio and Power Play Studios in New York City, following Rakim's response to Eric B.'s search for a rapper to complement his disc jockey work in 1985. The album peaked at number fifty-eight on the Billboard 200 chart 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".

Kelvin Darnell Martin, also known as 50 Cent, was an American criminal from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He is primarily known as the inspiration for the name of the rapper, 50 Cent.

Kool G Rap American rapper

Nathaniel Thomas Wilson, better known by his stage name Kool G Rap, is an American rapper from Queens. He began his career in the mid-1980s as one half of the group Kool G Rap & DJ Polo and as a member of the Juice Crew. He is often cited as one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time, and a pioneer of mafioso rap/street/hardcore content and multisyllabic rhyming. On his album The Giancana Story, he stated that the "G" in his name stands for "Giancana", but on other occasions he has stated that it stands for "Genius".

Follow the Leader and Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em

Follow the Leader , the duo's follow-up to Paid In Full; saw their production move away from the blunt minimalism of their debut. The title track and "Lyrics of Fury" were two of Rakim's most acclaimed lyrical performances. In 2003, comedian Chris Rock referred to Rakim's rhymes on the "...Fury" as 'lyrically, the best rapping anyone's ever done...' Rock also listed Follow the Leader as 12th on his Vibe magazine's list of the Top 25 Hip Hop Albums of All-Time. [11] At the time, the record went largely unnoticed by the mainstream music industry.

<i>Follow the Leader</i> (Eric B. & Rakim album) 1988 studio album by Eric B. & Rakim

Follow the Leader is the second studio album by American hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. Following their debut album Paid in Full (1987), Eric B. & Rakim left 4th & B'way Records and signed with Uni Records, a subsidiary label of major label MCA Records. They recorded Follow the Leader at Power Play Studios in New York City. The duo produced, composed, and arranged the album with additional contributions from Rakim's brother Stevie Blass Griffin, who contributed with various instruments. Eric B. & Rakim worked with audio engineers Carlton Batts and Patrick Adams on the album. In a similar manner to their first album, a "ghost producer" was brought in for two songs. In a 2007 interview with Unkut.com, The 45 King said he produced both "Microphone Fiend" and "The R". "Microphone Fiend" was originally made for Fab 5 Freddy, until 45 King gave it over to Eric B., the group's "DJ".

Follow the Leader (Eric B. & Rakim song) 1988 single by Eric B. & Rakim

"Follow the Leader" is a song by American hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. It was written by group members Eric Barrier and Rakim Allah and released as the first single from their second studio album of the same name.

Chris Rock American comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, and director

Christopher Julius Rock is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director.

In 1989, the pair teamed up with Jody Watley on her single "Friends" from the album Larger Than Life . The song would reach the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was one of the first notable collaborations between hip hop and dance pop. Eric B. & Rakim rarely collaborated with other rappers. This was evident in early 1990, when KRS-One's Stop the Violence Movement put together the charity single "Self-Destruction". The song featured numerous notable rappers, but Rakim was noticeably absent from the proceedings. He told HalftimeOnline.net years later, "I don't think they hollered at me or they hollered at Eric B. and he didn't say anything to me. I was a little bitter with that shit because I felt I had something to do with bringing consciousness in hip hop to the table. I came out and did what I did in '86 and then you know people started running with it. Then when it comes time to do something they didn't holler at me so I was a little bitter. At the same time a lot of reasons I didn't do records with people is because I never wanted their light to reflect on me. I don't have a problem with it but everybody who knows at that time knows they were trying to say I was responsible for gangsta rap, too. They thought I was that dude in the hood so maybe they didn't holler at me for a reason. I love Kris, though — he definitely contributed a lot to hip hop. I've been on tour with him and I know him as a person. He's a good dude. I like Kris, but they definitely didn't holler at me for that man because I would have definitely did it." [8]

Their 1990 album Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em was not as successful commercially as their first two LPs. Rakim referenced his enigmatic reputation on the song "Set 'Em Straight": "Here's the inside scoop on the fiend/They want to know why I'm seldom seen/'Cause who needs the TV screens and magazines/Or shooting through the city in fly limousines/'Cause one thing I don't need is a spotlight/'Cause I already got light..." He later said about his relative lack of commercial success: "You could sell a couple records and keep your integrity or you could go pop and sell a bunch of records and be gone tomorrow. I was trying to stick to my guns at that point." [8]

Mark Coleman of Rolling Stone stated:

"There's nothing trendy about this impassive duo, no Steely Dan bites or bits of Afrodelic rhetoric here. Eric B. and Rakim are hip-hop formalists devoted to upholding the Seventies funk canon and advancing rap's original verbal mandate. Almost every track on their third album is built on poetic boasts and wicked J.B. samples, but dismissing Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em as some sort of conservative reaction – a gold-chain throwback – completely misses the point. Masters of their appointed tasks, rapper Rakim and Eric B. are also formal innovators. They both can riff and improvise like jazzmen, spinning endless variations on basic themes and playing off each other's moves with chilly intuition. The resulting music is as stark, complex and edgy as Rakim's stone-cold stare on the album cover." [12]

The album was one of the first to receive the honor of a 5 mic rating in The Source . But, much like their debut album, there exists controversy over the production credit. Large Professor produced a large amount of the album's tracks, but was not credited on the album. [13]

Don't Sweat the Technique and split up

The duo made an appearance on the soundtrack for the 1991 comedy House Party 2 , ("What's On Your Mind") and also recorded the theme for the film, Juice . Both singles were included on what would become the duo's last album together. Don't Sweat the Technique was released in 1992. The album was not supposed to be the last; but their contract with MCA was due to expire. During the recording of the album, both members expressed an interest in recording solo albums. However, Eric B. refused to sign the label's release contract, fearful that Rakim would abandon him. This led to a court case involving the two musicians and their former label. The legal wrangling eventually led to the duo dissolving completely. Eric B. has clarified that the monetary problems stemmed from labels like Island and others claiming ownership of the masters — not from any financial disputes between him and Rakim:

"The money got split 50 /50 from the door, because I remember people would try to keep shit going. When we first came out, people were saying 'Eric was getting all the money' and 'he was trying to shine more than Rakim,' but that's not true. [I] would go to all the interviews, [because] Rakim didn't want to go to the interviews. He didn't like that part of the business. [But] we split all the money from dime one. I don't care what money I spent in the past, that money is never coming back. Whatever money we made, we split 50/50. Even up until now, we split every dime 50/50." [14]

Post-breakup and legacy

Eric B. released a self-titled solo album in 1995 on the independent label 95th Street Recordings. Legal issues continued to delay Rakim's solo career, but he finally released The 18th Letter in 1997. In 1999, Rakim's second solo album The Master was released to less favorable reviews. By the turn of the millennium, Eric B. was pursuing other business interests outside of music. Rakim signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath label in 2000, but the expected album never materialized. Since then, Rakim has made guest appearances with numerous other artists such as Jay-Z ("The Watcher, Part 2"), Truth Hurts ("Addictive"), Nas, KRS-One and Kanye West ("Classic"). In 2002, "Don't Sweat The Technique" appeared in the video game Aggressive Inline . In 2004 "I Know You Got Soul" appeared on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , playing on Playback FM. In November 2009, Rakim released The Seventh Seal .

Ownership of the duo's catalog consolidated in 1999, when PolyGram (which owned Island Records, which released Paid in Full) merged with Universal Music Group, an outgrowth of MCA Records, which owned the rest of the duo's albums.

Eric B. & Rakim were announced as one of fifteen finalists to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in September 2011. [15]

Reunion

On October 20, 2016, Eric B. announced via Twitter that he and Rakim have reunited as a duo after 23 years and would tour in 2017. This was confirmed by Eric B's business representative Uncle Louie during an interview with Rolling Stone [16]

The duo's first reunion concert was held at the Apollo Theater in New York City on July 7, 2017. [17] In 2018, they announced a 17-date American tour for that spring. [18]

Loss of material

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Eric B. & Rakim among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [19]

Artistry

Rapping technique

Rakim's rhyming deviated from the simple rhyme patterns of early 1980s hip hop. His free-rhythm style ignored bar lines and had earned comparisons to Thelonious Monk. [20] The New York Times ' Ben Ratliff wrote that Rakim's "unblustery rapping developed the form beyond the flat-footed rhythms of schoolyard rhymes". [21] While many rappers developed their technique through improvisation, Rakim was one of the first to demonstrate advantages of a writerly style, as with for instance his pioneering use of internal rhymes and multisyllabic rhymes [22] Unlike previous rappers such as LL Cool J, KRS-One, and Run-D.M.C., who delivered their vocals with high energy, Rakim employed a relaxed, stoic delivery. [23] [24] According to MTV, "We'd been used to MCs like Run and DMC, Chuck D and KRS-One leaping on the mic shouting with energy and irreverence, but Rakim took a methodical approach to his microphone fiending. He had a slow flow, and every line was blunt, mesmeric." [25] Rakim's relaxed delivery resulted from his jazz influences; he had played the saxophone and was a John Coltrane fan. [20] [26] [27] [28]

Rakim's subject matter often covered his own rapping skills and lyrical superiority over other rappers. [29] [30] AllMusic editor Steve Huey comments that "the majority of his lyrics concern his own skills and his Islamic faith." [31] He also notes Rakim for his "complex internal rhymes, compounding, literate imagery, velvet-smooth flow, and unpredictable, off-the-beat rhythms." [32] Pitchfork writer Jess Harvell described his rapping as "authoritative, burnished, and possessing an unflappable sense of rhythm". [30]

Musical style

Paid in Full, which contains gritty, heavy, and dark beats, [33] marked the beginning of heavy sampling in hip hop records. [21] Of the album's ten tracks, three are instrumentals. [34] As a disc jockey, Eric B. had reinstated the art of live turntable mixing. [26] His soul-filled sampling became influential in future hip hop production. [25] Music critic Robert Christgau noted that Eric B. had incorporated "touches of horn or whistle deep in the mix" of his sampled percussion and scratches. [35]

Discography

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New school hip hop genre of hip hop music

The new school of hip hop was a movement in hip hop music starting 1983–84 with the early records of Run–D.M.C. and LL Cool J. Like the hip hop preceding it, it came predominantly from New York City. The new school was initially characterized in form by drum machine led minimalism, often tinged with elements of rock. It was notable for taunts and boasts about rapping, and socio-political commentary, both delivered in an aggressive, self-assertive style. In image as in song its artists projected a tough, cool, street b-boy attitude. These elements contrasted sharply with the funk and disco influenced outfits, novelty hits, live bands, synthesizers and party rhymes of artists prevalent in 1984, and rendered them old school. New school artists made shorter songs that could more easily gain radio play, and more cohesive LPs than their old school counterparts. By 1986 their releases began to establish the hip hop album as a fixture of the mainstream.

Rakim American rapper and producer

William Michael Griffin Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim, is an American rapper. One half of golden age hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential and most skilled MCs of all time.

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<i>Let the Rhythm Hit Em</i> 1990 studio album by Eric B & Rakim

Let the Rhythm Hit ’Em is the third studio album by rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, released on June 19, 1990. The group's sound develops further, with Rakim adopting a deeper, more aggressive tone of voice, and more mature and serious subject matter. Musically, the production ranges from smoother soulful tracks such as "In the Ghetto" to the hard-edged assault of the title track "Let the Rhythm Hit ’Em."

<i>Dont Sweat the Technique</i> 1992 studio album by Eric B. & Rakim

Don't Sweat the Technique is the fourth and final studio album by American hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, released on June 23, 1992, by MCA Records. It was recorded and produced by Eric B. & Rakim at The Hit Factory in New York City. The album builds on the sounds of 1990's Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em, with Rakim sounding more aggressive on Eric B.'s jazzy, soulful production.

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<i>Gold</i> (Eric B. & Rakim album) 2005 greatest hits album by Eric B & Rakim

Gold is the third compilation album, by hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. The album was released on June 14, 2005, on Hip-O Records. The album contains numerous remixes and extended mixes of Eric B. & Rakim's greatest hits as part of Universal Music Group’s Gold series.

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I Aint No Joke single by Eric B. & Rakim

"I Ain't No Joke" is a song by rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, released as the second single from their debut studio album Paid in Full. It peaked at number thirty-eight on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. Described as one of the album's "monumental singles", Michael Di Bella wrote in the All Music Guide to Rock that "Rakim grabs the listener by the throat and illustrates his mastery of the rhyming craft". A music video was made for it, featuring dancing from Flavor Flav of the group Public Enemy. The song was selected by Jay-Z for the NBA 2K13 soundtrack. It was also featured in the video game Saints Row.

Paid in Full (Eric B. & Rakim song) single by Eric B. & Rakim

"Paid in Full" is a 1987 song by American hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. Written and produced by group members Eric Barrier and Rakim Allah, the song was released as the fifth single from the duo's debut studio album Paid in Full. "Paid in Full" became one of the group's most successful singles, owing heavily to a popular remix of the song by English dance music duo Coldcut.

The following is a discography of production credited to Marley Marl.

Eric B. & Rakim discography

The discography of Eric B. & Rakim, an American hip hop duo, consists of four studio albums, five compilation albums, 15 singles, and nine music videos. Eric B. & Rakim formed and signed a record deal with Zakia Records in 1985. The following year, the duo signed a deal with 4th & B'way Records. Their debut album Paid in Full was released in 1987. In the United States, it peaked at number 58 on the Billboard 200, number 8 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It appeared on the Dutch, New Zealand, and UK Albums Chart. Paid in Full produced five singles, four of which appeared on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The fifth single "Paid in Full" (1988) peaked in the top five of the Dutch and New Zealand Singles Chart.

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