One of the gems of the late 80’s “golden age” of hip-hop, “Paid in Full” is a song about something most fans of the genre can relate to- getting paid. The track itself is a playful ode to the business side of the rap game; a capitalist cypher which tackles an aspect of hip-hop often glamorized by well-off artists and bemoaned by starving producers.
Eric B. & Rakim’s 1987 album “Paid in Full” doesn’t often get much attention from so called “hip-hop fans” or radio DJs, but the work itself is a highly influential one. Rappers who have mentioned Eric B. & Rakim as a major influence include The Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Nas and many more.
In this album are some of the first examples of internal rhyme, heavy sampling and jazz production. Each of the tracks on the album were written in about an hour by Rakim as he listened to the instrumental, and many of the of the songs were recorded in a single take in order to save money. Rakim’s unique and creative free-rythm rhymes are highly entertaining to listen to, and the jazz production makes the entire album a pleasant soundtrack to count your cash to. The music video isn’t bad either.