Eric B. & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em
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Uploaded on Jan 29, 2010
From 1990 Album: "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em".....
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Eric B. & Rakim were a hip-hop duo composed of DJ Eric Barrier and MC Rakim Allah (born William Michael Griffin Jr.).
Hailing from Long Island, New York, the pair is generally considered by hip hop enthusiasts to be one of the most influential and innovative groups in the genre. During hip hop's so-called golden age of the mid-1980s to the early 90s, the duo was almost universally regarded as the premier MC/DJ combo in hip hop. The two had a potent chemistry and each represented the height of innovation in their respective roles: Rakim was the master lyricist, an innovative talent who pushed the art of hip hop lyricism to new creative heights with his use of internal rhyme, sophisticated metaphors, and with a methodical-yet-effortless delivery; the duo's beats built on the hard-hitting sound of Run-D.M.C. by adding James Brown samples and Eric B's extensive scratching skills, setting the stage for hip hop's late-1980s/early-1990s infatuation with samples from the Godfather of Soul.
Born in 1965, Eric Barrier was born and raised in the Elmhurst area of Queens. Born in 1968 and raised in Wyandanch, Long Island, William Michael Griffin converted to The Nation of Gods and Earths (also known as the 5 Percent Nation) at age 16 and began writing rhymes. Barrier, who had played trumpet and drums throughout high school, switched to turntables prior to graduation and soon, the newly-dubbed "Eric B." began DJing for radio station WBLS in New York. Eric B. would DJ for WBLS' mobile events around the city and wound up meeting Alvin Toney, a promoter based in Queens. Eric B. had been looking for rappers and Toney recommended he use Freddie Foxxx, an aggressive Queens MC with a reputation for battle raps. Toney took Eric B. to Foxxx's home, but the rapper wasn't there. Immediately, Toney suggested another option. Eric B. recalled in 2008, "[Toney] was like 'I got another dude, he nice too--this dude got a smooth, laid-back style.' So [he] takes me to Rakim's house and we start talking." Eric B. borrowed records from Rakim's brother, Stevie Blass Griffin (who worked at a plant pressing bootleg LPs) and began cutting them in the basement for Rakim, who was down there drinking a beer and relaxing. Said Eric B., "I took Fonda Reas Over Like A Fat Rat and said 'This is the bass line Im 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."
Eric B. & Rakim decided to record together and immediately came under the tutelage of legendary Queens-based hip hop producer Marley Marl, and there exists some controversy over who actually produced their landmark first single, 1985s "Eric B. Is President"—which was built on the distinctive Fonda Rea bass line sample. Eric B. told Allhiphop.com, "I took the records to Marley Marls house in Queensbridge and paid Marley Marl to be the engineer. Marley got paid. Thats why hes not a producer; thats why he is not getting publishing. I brought the music. I just couldnt work the equipment because thats not what I did...". Nonetheless, the single became an instant classic among hip hop fans, (though it went largely unnoticed in mainstream music), and Rakim's opening salvo of I came in the door/said it before would become one of the most quoted lines in hip hop music.
Let The Rhythm Hit'em Album:
Let the Rhythm Hit Em is the third album by groundbreaking hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, released in 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-edge assault of the title track "Let the Rhythm Hit Em." Despite the fact that it doesn't boast singles as popular as the duo's previous albums ("Paid in Full" and "Follow the Leader") it is considered by many to be the duos most coherent album. The album is one of a few that have received a 5-mic rating when it was reviewed in The Source Magazine. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.
The back cover features a dedication to the memories of Rakim's father William and producer Paul C., who had worked on many of the album's tracks before his murder in July 1989. Paul's protégé Large Professor completed his work. Neither receive credit in the album's notes.
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Eric B. & Rakim
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