“Follow The Leader” by Eric B & Rakim (1988)

It’s rarely disputed that William Griffin (AKA Rakim) is the greatest hip-hop lyricist of all time. “Follow The Leader”, the first single and title track of his sophomore effort with DJ Eric B, represents the writer and rhymer at his apex. Everything that a rap nerd jizzes off of-complex verbiage, internal rhyme schemes, effortless flow-is… Read More “Follow The Leader” by Eric B & Rakim (1988)

“Flava In Ya Ear (remix)” by Craig Mack feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage the Last Boy Scout, LL Cool J & Busta Rhymes (1994)

Puffy didn’t invent the remix. Even the idea of reconstructing a song so it was almost completely different from the original and calling it a remix existed before Puffy. However, his re-rub of Bad Boy’s first hit set a couple of precedents and served several purposes. Oh, and it might also be the best hip-hop… Read More “Flava In Ya Ear (remix)” by Craig Mack feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage the Last Boy Scout, LL Cool J & Busta Rhymes (1994)

“Fallin'” by De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub (1993)

Sure, we can blame the soundtrack of the forgettable film Judgment Night for spawning the rap/rock movement that gave us Korn and Limp Bizkit. We can also laud it for commendably bridging what were thought of as two disparate musical worlds (save for the Beastie Boys, who defy all logic); alternative rock and hardcore hip-hop.… Read More “Fallin'” by De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub (1993)

“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Ghetto Bastard)” by Naughty By Nature (1991)

Three things to unpack here: “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” was originally titled “Ghetto Bastard”. Presumably, when Naughty By Nature and Tommy Boy realized that it was going to be the second single from Naughty’s debut album, a title change became necessary. It may not be the case anymore, but in 1991, no radio station was… Read More “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Ghetto Bastard)” by Naughty By Nature (1991)

“Eric B. Is President” by Eric B. & Rakim (1986)

And now, a few random thoughts regarding “Eric B. Is President”. “President” heralded the next major advance in hip-hop upon its release in late 1986. Production-wise, Eric B & Rakim’s debut marked one of the first instances of  layered samples (rudimentary as the layering was). Rakim also signaled a seismic shift in the art of… Read More “Eric B. Is President” by Eric B. & Rakim (1986)