Updated: Aug 3, 2019
Eric B. & Rakim released their debut album Paid In Full July 7, 1987
In 1987, Eric B. & Rakim took the hip-hop game by storm when they released their flawless album Paid in Full.
"Eric B. and Rakim epitomized and personified the street culture of New York and the rest of the nation," said Nas. "They wore Gucci before Gucci [was popular in the streets], they were counting money on the album cover and they made it look cool. The style of the music was built for the streets. Rakim’s lyrics were the streets put into music.”
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. In 2003, the album was ranked number 228 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Listen to Paid in Full below.