03 January 2010
327. Classic clip of the week (W/e 01.03.10): Eric B. & Rakim- Paid In Full
When Rakim and Eric B. bursted onto the hip hop scene in 1986 with the classic "Paid In Full", Rakim easily took emceeing to new levels the adolescent genre of hip hop wasn't used to or prepared for. Pre Rakim lyricists were generally literal and party oriented and naturally fans latched on when they first got a glimpse of his storytelling ability, laid back and monotone but still in your face, passive aggressive approach to rapping which laid the blueprint for future up and coming microphone fiends of the next generation such as Jay-Z, Nas and Snoop Dogg. Add to this an armful of James Brown samples, hip hop was forever changed.
The pair's wardrobe choices were the perfect balance to their quiet personalities. While Run DMC broke down MTV doors in their trademark black, leather and shelltoe Adidas, Eric B. & Rakim sported nugget and four-finger rings and thick as can be rope chains. Another important element would be custom leather and suede sweatsuits, usually with Gucci, MCM or Louis Vuitton logos, courtesy of a Harlem custom clothier named Dapper Dan. Urbanites took note and helped begin the marriage between hip hop and high fashion.