February 19, 2019

Eric B. & Rakim "Lyrics Of Fury" (1988)

There is no secret to their success -- it's about nothing but talent. Eric B. grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, New York loving basketball and music. 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 urban contemporary giant WBLS - New York. It was at BLS that Eric met Marley Marl, the on-air mixer for "Mr. Magic's Rap Attack." Rakim himself was born William Griffin in Brooklyn. He grew up in Wyandanch, Long Island, one of five kids in a musical family and the nephew of early rock'n'roll immortal Ruth Brown. An honor roll student, Rakim was writing rhymes and rapping from the time he was a seventh grader. He and Eric met and clicked right away. "We made a promise that our music had to be positive, strong, and different," remembers Rakim, whose interest in Islam is reflected in his stage name. "And I think we've kept our promise." - via Press Kit / Bio. Perhaps not looked at as their most popular track, but "Lyrics Of Fury" on "Follow The Leader" is widely considered one of the greatest expressions of lyrical exercise, and my favorite track off their "Follow The Leader" album in 1988. Lyrics and audio below.

"I haunt if you want the style I possess
I bless the child, the earth, the gods and bomb the rest
For those that envy an MC, it can be Hazardous to your health so be friendly
A matter of life and death, just like a Etch A Sketch
Shake 'til you're clear, make it disappear, make the next
After the ceremony, let the rhyme rest in peace"