Three decades ago today, on July 7, 1987, Eric B. & Rakim released their epic debut album, Paid in Full. 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”. At the time, Paid in Full was the soundtrack to the streets during the War on Drugs of the late 1980s and it inspired many street hustlers to get money.
Paid in Full is credited as a benchmark album of golden age hip hop. Rakim’s rapping, which pioneered the use of internal rhymes in hip hop, set a higher standard of lyricism in the genre and served as a template for future rappers. The album’s heavy sampling by Eric B. became influential in hip hop production. The record has sold over a million copies and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it platinum in 1995. The album also paved the way for the East Coast sound of the 1990s rap music, especially in New York City.
Eric B. & Rakim reunite at the Apollo
“The time has come, New York, are you ready? Fans worldwide, prepare to book your flights. We are back, as promised, and you know that!”
Tonight, for the first time in more than two decades, hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim are going to perform together at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem to mark the 30th anniversary of their debut rap album. The legendary duo have no plans to record new music, but they do hope to remaster all four of their studio albums and tour.