July 06, 2014

Eric B. & Rakim "Press Kit" / "Paid In Full" (July, 1987)

"Though Paid In Full, Eric B. and Rakim's debut album on Island is only just now being released, they have been street sensations ever since they first crashed onto the set over a year ago with "Eric B. Is President / My Melody." Powered by some of the funkiest beats since they heyday of James Brown, the rapper Rakim invited teenaged America to "Ch-Ch-Ch-Check out my melody" - an invitation that was accepted with great pleasure ... With summer once again upon us, Eric B. and Rakim have returned with their second single, "I Know You Got Soul," another super-funky item which begins ... "It's been a long time, I shouldna left you / Without a strong rhyme to step to" ... "Think of how many weak shows you slept through / Time's Up! I'm sorry I kept you" ... There is no secret to their success - it's about nothing but talent. Eric B. grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, New York .. he played trumpet and guitar as a youth and then graduated to the turntables when rap first surfaced in the late '70s ... By 1985 Eric was good enough to work as a mobile deejay for WBLS. It was at BLS that Eric met Marley Marl ("Mr. Magic's Rap Attack"), who has remixed "Eric B. Is President" and "My Melody" on Paid In Full." Check them out live at the Apollo in '91, cont'd below...

"Rakim himself was born William Griffin in Brooklyn ... He grew up in Wyandanch, Long Island ... An honor roll student, Rakim was writing rhymes and rhyming from the time he was in seventh grade ... He and Eric met and clicked right away... "We made a promise that our music had to be positive, strong, and different," remembers Rakim. "And I think we've kept our promise." ... "Surely there must have been something about the two of them. "My Melody," the first demo they ever made as a team, was bought by the first company they brought it to - Harlem's Zakia Records, who shortly thereafter licensed it to Island Records. When the record started to break nationally, Rakim was still in his last year of high school. With Paid In Full, Eric. B & Rakim demonstrate conclusively that, in their own words, they ain't no joke. In fact, they're on a mission..." - July, 1987