DAR Hip Hop: Eric B. And Rakim's Paid In Full

By @1natethegreat4

1. I Ain't No Joke
2. Eric B. Is On The Cut
3. My Melody
4. I Know You Got Soul
5. Move The Crowd
6. Paid In Full
7. As The Rhyme Goes On
8. Chinese Arithmetic
9. Eric B. Is President
10. Extended Beat

“Paid in Full” is the first album from the iconic duo of Eric B and Rakim. I respect this duo because of their efforts in the rap game. This is one of the best albums of all time in my opinion and is widely respected in the industry as such. The album is generously known for samples from other artists and was certified platinum in 1995. This is a moving album from top to bottom and truly set off the golden age of hip hop. Dope internal rhyming delivery and radiant lyricism from Rakim combined with dope influential production from Eric B. has this album screaming golden age hip hop. A free-rhythm style from Rakim in a suave tone differentiated him from the rest of the competition. Very blunt lyricism radiates through this album and this is a feel good album in a lot of ways to me.

“I Ain’t No Joke” opens up the album with a funky hip hop beat with high intensity. We see introspective lyricism here. A “Pass the Peas” sample with the help of Eric B. solidifies the beat with DJ scratches and sub bass. Rakim is a lyrical genius and my claim is supported in this track. A gut-wrenching tight flow that doesn’t lack consistency. Rakim distances himself from the competition with lyricism like this. Nothing but glowing confidence can be thought of when Rakim spits. His authoritative demeanor when he spits about how he is the best and your favorite rapper wants no problems. Do not try him or there will be consequences, and don’t copy him because there is only one Rakim in the game.

“Eric B. Is On The Cut” is our second track. A dope instrumental that feels personally to me a mix of futuristic and abstract tones, aggressive DJ scratches and a complex golden age hip hop beat into one instrumental. This would be an interesting track to freestyle over. “My Melody” is the third track on this set and what a dope track. Lyrically, Rakim continues his prowess and slows his delivery down. It’s a wrap by the second verse. It’s vintage blunt rap and focuses the rap game underneath a microscope. I absolutely love the lyrical aspect of this song and this is one of my favorites on this album with a groovy beat layered underneath it. Excellent execution by both to create a dope track.

“I Know You Got Soul” changes it up. The funk turns up on this joint versus the earlier tracks. Soft strung guitars and garage drum-set beats is the feel of the beat. The stoic delivery in Rakim during this track changes. Loose vocals on the track will sound different to the ears. Verse one focus on the soul that Rakim brings to the game. Verse 2 is Rakim illustrating his dominance on the stage with the mic in his hand and if you have to compete against him, wave the white flag.

“Move The Crowd” is composed of dope electronic synths with the highs sounding crisp, but the lows sound distorted with purpose. Rakim moves my head to the music as he resumes with the same lyrical flow. It’s crisp and would be the banger at the rave. An egotistical flow with a dope beat behind it makes this track simply one word: FUNKY. I have to give Eric B. more credit on this track because he did a marvelous job with the beat. “Paid In Full” brings us back up to speed after two tracks that fit in perfectly with the golden age of hip-hop. This is a dope track and my favorite personally. Rakim brings the heat with the dope iconic lines that I had to quote:

“So I dig into my pocket, all my money spent/
So I dig deeper, but still coming up with lint/
So I start my mission, leave my residence/
Thinking how I could get some dead presidents/”

It’s a dope series of lines and the overall flow that creates this is dope along with brilliant wordplay from Rakim. Eric B. also provides a simplistic beat, but goes in to the end of the song.

“As The Rhyme Goes On” is my favorite track on this album. Rakim possessing a monotonous lyrical flow with a change-of-pace delivery provides a highlight on this album. I’d quote a couple of lyrics, but I would end up putting the whole verse. You have to hear for yourself. “Chinese Arithmetic” is an abstract instrumental that leads to the next song “Eric B Is President”. What a dope track. We experience three dope verses and then a freestyle-like beat from Eric B. It’s one of my favorite tracks from the duo and should never be overshadowed in a discography check.

“Extended Beat” leaves us with a groovy instrumental that would be perfect for an old-school fashioned rap battle. Funky bass lines groan throughout the track with fixed Hi-hats on the drum set. Again, this is one of my favorite albums from the duo, all-time personally to me, and to some extent, in the rap community. We may agree to disagree, but hopefully we can come to a consensus on this joint. Certified classic.



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