It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Eric B & Rakim

They never had a mainstream hit of their own, but 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. Not only was their chemistry superb, but individually, each represented the absolute state of the art in their respective skills. Eric B. was a hugely influential DJ and beatmaker whose taste for hard-hitting James Brown samples touched off a stampede through the Godfather of Soul's back catalog that continues up to the present day. Rakim, meanwhile, still tops fan polls as the greatest MC of all time. He crafted his rhymes like poetry, filling his lines with elaborate metaphors and complex internal rhymes, and he played with the beat like a jazzman, earning a reputation as the smoothest-flowing MC ever to pick up a mic. His articulation was clear, his delivery seemingly effortless, and his influence on subsequent MCs incalculable. Together, their peerless technique on the microphone and turntables upped the ante for all who followed them, and their advancement of hip-hop as an art form has been acknowledged by everyone from Gang Starr to the Wu-Tang Clan to Eminem. While certain elements of their sound might come off as slightly dated today, it's also immediately clear how much of a hand Eric B. & Rakim had in leading hip-hop into the modern age.

Eric B. was born Eric Barrier in 1965 in Elmhurst, Queens; his future partner, William Griffin, Jr., was born in 1968 and also hailed from the suburbs of New York, specifically Wyandanch, Long Island. At age 16, Griffin converted to Islam and adopted the name Rakim Allah. Barrier played trumpet and guitar early on, but switched to the turntables in high school, and eventually landed a job as the mobile DJ for radio station WBLS. It was there that he met Rakim, and the two officially formed a partnership in 1985. Their first single -- "Eric B. Is President" (an ode to Barrier's DJ skills) b/w "My Melody" -- was released on the tiny Harlem-based indie label Zakia. It was a street-level sensation during the summer of 1986, and the duo was picked up by the larger 4th & Broadway imprint. The equally monumental singles "I Ain't No Joke" and "I Know You Got Soul" sampled James Brown and his cohort Bobby Byrd, respectively, and their utter funkiness began to revolutionize the sound of hip-hop. Moreover, Rakim's line "pump up the volume" on the latter track was in turn sampled itself, becoming the basis for M/A/R/R/S' hit of the same name.

In 1987, 4th & Broadway issued the duo's full-length debut, Paid in Full; accompanied by a mighty underground buzz, the record climbed into the Top Ten on the R&B LP charts (as would all of their subsequent albums). Additionally, the British DJ duo Coldcut remixed the title cut into a bona fide U.K. smash. The exposure helped make "Paid in Full"'s drum track one of the most sampled beats this side of James Brown's "Funky Drummer"; it provided the foundation for Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True," among many other, more credible hits. On the heels of Paid in Full, Eric B. & Rakim signed with MCA subsidiary Uni and consolidated their reputation with another landmark hip-hop album, 1988's Follow the Leader. The title cut took its place among the classic singles already in their canon, and Jody Watley soon tapped the duo for a guest spot on her 1989 single "Friends," which brought them into the pop Top Ten for the first and only time.

The 1990 follow-up Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em proved relatively disappointing from a creative standpoint, although 1992's slightly jazzier Don't Sweat the Technique was a more consistent affair that bolstered their legacy. As it turned out, the record also completed that legacy. The duo's contract with MCA was almost up, and they had discussed the possibility of each recording a solo album. Unfortunately, the resulting tension over the future of their partnership ultimately destroyed it. In the aftermath of the breakup, various legal issues prevented both parties from starting their solo careers for quite some time. The only recording to appear was Rakim's first solo cut, "Heat It Up," which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1993 film Gunmen. Finally, in 1995, Eric B. issued his self-titled solo debut on his own 95th Street label. Rakim, meanwhile, signed with Universal and delivered a pair of acclaimed comeback albums, 1997's The 18th Letter and 1999's The Master. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Paid In Full / Eric B.Is On The Cut (Single)

1. Paid In Full

2. Eric B. Is On The Cut

x

Track List: Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em

1. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em

2. No Omega

3. In The Ghetto

4. Step Back

5. Eric B. Made My Day

6. Run For Cover

7. Untouchables

8. Mahogany

9. Keep 'Em Eager To Listen

10. Set 'Em Straight

11. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em (12" Vocal Version Remix)

x

Track List: Gold

Disc 1

1. Eric B. Is President

2. I Know You Got Soul

3. I Ain't No Joke

4. Paid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness - The Coldcut Remix)

5. My Melody (Original Mix)

6. Follow The Leader

7. Microphone Fiend

8. Lyrics Of Fury

9. Put Your Hands Together (Fon Force Mix)

10. The R (Remix Edit)

Disc 2

1. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em (Upso Mix)

2. No Omega (Extended Remix Version)

3. In The Ghetto (Extended Mix)

4. Run For Cover

5. Mahogany

6. What's On Your Mind (House Party II Rap Theme) (Extended Vocal Version)

7. Rest Assured

8. What's Going On

9. Juice (Know The Ledge) (Main Mix)

10. Casualties Of War (Radical Radio Edit)

11. Don't Sweat The Technique

x

Track List: The Best Of Eric B. & Rakim - The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

1. I Know You Got Soul

2. Eric B. Is President

3. I Ain't No Joke

4. Paid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness - The Coldcut Remix)

5. Follow The Leader

6. Lyrics Of Fury

7. Microphone Fiend

8. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em

9. In The Ghetto

10. The Punisher

11. Know The Ledge

x

Track List: Don't Sweat The Technique

1. What's On Your Mind

2. Teach The Children

3. Pass The Hand Grenade

4. Casualties Of War

5. Rest Assured

6. The Punisher

7. Relax With Pep

8. Keep The Beat

9. What's Going On

10. Know The Ledge

11. Don't Sweat The Technique

12. Kick Along

x

Track List: Follow The Leader (expanded)

1. Follow The Leader

2. Microphone Fiend

3. Lyrics Of Fury

4. Eric B. Never Scared

5. Just A Beat

6. Put Your Hands Together

7. To The Listeners

8. No Competition

9. The R

10. Musical Massacre

11. Beats For The Listeners

12. The R (remix)

13. Microphone Fiend (Extended Remix)

14. Put Your Hands Together (Fon Force Mix)

x

Track List: Follow The Leader

1. Follow The Leader

2. Microphone Fiend

3. Lyrics Of Fury

4. Eric B. Never Scared

5. Just A Beat

6. Put Your Hands Together

7. To The Listeners

8. No Competition

9. The R

10. Musical Massacre

11. Beats For The Listeners

x

Track List: Paid In Full

Disc 1

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

Disc 2

1. Paid In Full (Remix)

2. I Know You Got Soul (Mega Mix)

3. Move The Crowd (The Wild Bunch Remix)

4. Paid In Full (Urban Respray)

5. As The Rhyme Goes On (Chad Jay In Effect)

6. Move The Crowd (Beatmix)

7. My Melody (Original Mix)

8. I Know You Got Soul (Acappela)

9. I Know You Got Soul (Dub)

10. Eric B. Is President (Dub)

11. My Melody (Dub)

x

Track List: Paid In Full - The Platinum Edition

Comments

Report as inappropriate
4ever!!!!
Report as inappropriate
I'll take 7 MC's put in a line and add 7 more brothers who think they can rhyme and it'll take 7 more before I go for mine and that's 21 MC's ate up at the same time......th o u g h t I was a donut she tried to glaze me
Report as inappropriate
"I'm the R, the A to the KIM, if I wasn't, then why would I say I am." I told this girl that's the R, The G.O.D. Rakim. she tried to tell me it was Eminem. I shook my head at that ignorance.
Report as inappropriate
��
Report as inappropriate
Eric B & Rakim - yes, and more real,hip hop. Thanks.


Report as inappropriate
I grab the mic like I'm on Soul Train!!!
Report as inappropriate
fcrrfc
Greatest lyricist (Ever ) (Period )
Report as inappropriate
favarela21
Let a foo with a laptop use some real skill playing 4 records at once sounding like 1
Report as inappropriate
Blow em out like candles....
Report as inappropriate
He definitley " Aint No Joke"!!
Report as inappropriate
One uv tha dopest remixes in hip hop history
Report as inappropriate
..... this is not madness - it's pure rap and hip- hop. ... let the Kings back on the airwaves - my ears need it like al fiend ... seven minutes of RAP. Today rap is madness and trash... keep it all.
Report as inappropriate
Paid in Full....list e n to the lyrics on this song... talk about flowing...ra p p e r s today cant match the lyrical flow that was present during the 80's
Report as inappropriate
This truly a. funky sound
Report as inappropriate
Microphone Fiend!!!!
Report as inappropriate
hey the mf best!!!
Report as inappropriate
The MIGHTY ERIC B & THE ICONIC RAKIM..
Report as inappropriate
Eric b and rakim G.O.A.T
Report as inappropriate
lesbiangeniu s
That is an EXCELLENT article. Thank you
Report as inappropriate
PIF great still to this day. Rappers from back when/then of the 80's still play on my radio. When music was real.
Report as inappropriate
Thee Men!!! When rap was rap!!!
Report as inappropriate
Paid In FULL- still a kick. Eric B and Rakim...... nothing said- hip hop.
Report as inappropriate
Eric B. Is the new President - 2016! You got the popular vote November 8-2016.
Report as inappropriate
Shoulda, shoulda slapped da b**ch,hood anthem
Report as inappropriate
One n only no other can touch them ever,they ain't no joke
Report as inappropriate
God
Report as inappropriate
Greatest lyricist ever point blank none greater
Report as inappropriate
Even the "Baka"people realize.When another culture of society.Trie s to 'play'them for foolish!!!!! ! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
You make me feel so good!!!
Report as inappropriate
"GOAT" Rakim killed the beat Rest In Peace!
Report as inappropriate
Start my mission - how can I get some dead presidents- Eric B- hit the studio - I'm paid in full- turn the BASS down- real - rap- hip hop don't stop. "Paid in full"!
Report as inappropriate
Yes, yes, and more YES. PRAISE BE TO ALLAH/G-D. I got soul, Rakim get stronger, blow out like candles, hand do's, now I'm stop to see what you got, it ain't where you from its where you at, you got it. Wow. Real hip hop and rap. 80's where great. Thanks.
Report as inappropriate
Eric b. & rakim,where are they now?.unsung now!!!...
Report as inappropriate
Like no other...
Report as inappropriate
Hands down Eric B and Rakim the best rap group ever to this day
Report as inappropriate
mcclendo.lis a
I may sound petty but who writes these synopsis. "So called Golden era of Hip hop". Understand Rakim and Eric B were and will always be b boy and hip hop gods.. Show more respect or secure a real hip hop historian to write these bylines✌��️
Report as inappropriate
Dig the Farsi sample on Paid in Full, least I think it's Farsi.
Report as inappropriate
Real rap and hip hop culture. Thanks...... . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
Thinkin of a masta plan
Report as inappropriate
"I Ain't No Joke"
Report as inappropriate
"thought I was a donut u tried to glaze me" omgg my favorite part!!!
Report as inappropriate
nc_preacher_ 1 1
Paid In Full!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
I think this is Rakims most underrated track damn he flow like a bloody nose in a hood fight on this track !!!!!
Report as inappropriate
william_m_ro d r i g u e z
My word us bond...dopes t crew evah in da late 80's..live hip hop...
Report as inappropriate
ALL HAIL TO THE MIGHTY MIGHTY ERIC B AND RAKIM
I HAVE BEEN A DIE HARD FAN SINCE THEIR BEGINNING IN 1985......
TRUE LEGENDS!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
the music just turns me on
Jet Set f**king radio
Report as inappropriate
eufeflores
Rakim,the Original Complex MC...
Report as inappropriate
"Eric B and Rakim "! Made the world clap to this"! Praise be Allah/G-d. For real hip hop. Thanks.
Report as inappropriate
This is one of the pioneers of hip hop. Metaphors and science. You can tell these brothers from the early days read books. Or pondered on philosophy. These dudes today....i cant say nothing nice so i wont say nothing. I love early hip hop!!!
Report as inappropriate
flappo10
Legends
Show more

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[91, 81, 124, 82, 100, 113, 99, 78, 100, 66, 97, 68, 75, 119, 96, 123, 99, 103, 80, 123, 108, 124, 83, 117, 87, 95, 70, 67, 90, 107, 66, 111, 81, 80, 91, 65, 119, 85, 69, 91, 93, 66, 124, 86, 94, 125, 84, 95, 90, 126, 118, 97, 91, 120, 113, 81, 92, 94, 75, 84, 108, 79, 82, 90, 74, 101, 97, 99, 127, 127, 108, 72, 117, 86, 95, 91, 74, 95, 90, 104, 90, 64, 81, 64, 94, 126, 110, 125, 89, 124, 64, 116, 89, 78, 105, 67, 104, 100, 114, 117, 113, 100, 108, 70, 81, 113, 79, 91, 113, 73, 91, 97, 110, 81, 94, 88, 86, 90, 110, 74, 116, 78, 69, 93, 66, 110, 71, 118, 69, 71, 114, 118, 102, 98, 79, 80, 69, 106, 113, 83, 66, 88, 77, 117, 98, 112, 96, 65, 126, 68, 105, 64, 77, 70, 80, 122, 90, 79, 120, 112, 68, 118, 125, 99, 117, 126, 112, 104, 81, 96, 87, 103, 119, 106, 108, 120, 98, 126, 93, 101, 116, 88, 117, 125, 84, 71, 112, 108, 92, 64, 112, 106, 101, 68, 78, 105, 74, 112, 91, 82, 116, 86, 101, 73, 107, 71, 91, 66, 106, 113, 97, 114, 64, 66, 103, 83, 82, 80, 68, 102, 110, 126, 95, 122, 116, 119, 64, 109, 70, 101, 85, 101, 86, 102, 119, 73, 111, 127, 86, 99, 98, 123, 88, 65, 124, 93, 107, 86, 76, 127, 107, 114, 75, 70, 104, 110, 125, 126, 117, 79, 94, 84, 106, 94, 78, 101, 88, 95, 116, 110, 84, 101, 75, 93, 117, 122, 66, 68, 106, 124, 93, 96, 114, 77, 93, 70, 80, 117, 92, 123, 89, 66, 125, 65, 93, 79, 116, 101, 118, 90, 123, 107, 109, 103, 93, 98, 115, 109, 65, 83, 111, 94, 102, 102, 118, 112, 96, 94, 76, 126, 75, 115, 80, 99, 110, 89, 93, 67, 90, 105, 111, 77, 81, 98, 120, 72, 110, 89, 86, 102, 77, 93, 89, 81, 118, 100, 126, 102, 108, 76, 79, 110, 83, 78, 116, 91, 68, 116, 103, 76, 75, 106, 85, 91, 88, 89, 111, 113, 81, 100, 85, 116, 89, 85, 71, 100, 74, 111, 92, 90, 84, 96, 113, 70, 118, 79, 75, 76, 68, 124, 95, 123, 113, 98, 82, 73, 91, 87, 67, 92, 123, 80, 127, 114, 114, 97, 89, 107, 69, 70, 111, 112, 103, 90, 86, 93, 66, 75, 70, 67, 95, 113, 93, 72, 69, 89, 123, 101, 103, 73, 127, 80, 98, 71, 127, 122, 90, 112, 100, 120, 121, 95, 121, 75, 67, 85, 114, 88, 91, 88, 122, 114, 91, 84, 119, 102, 101, 121, 68, 124, 125, 116, 80, 81, 95, 122, 109, 98, 112, 108, 122, 97, 113, 127, 85, 108, 77, 90, 71, 101, 100, 73, 97, 117, 80, 112, 111, 125, 108, 110, 108, 99, 126, 114, 104, 125, 75, 121, 110, 92, 107, 118, 111, 112, 75, 113, 127, 126, 121, 125, 73, 125]