How Did Rakim Meet Eric B?

The story of how Rakim met Eric B. is a one of comedy, chance and even one of construction. What I mean by construction is that it was not a purely organic meeting of two like-minded persons, but rather a constructed yet convenient meeting. The framework of the story goes something like this.

In the summer of 1987 Eric B., who was a DJ at WBLS in NYC, began looking for rappers to work with. He then met a promoter who suggested he work with a guy named Freddie Foxxx from the Paid In Full Posse. Freddie Foxxx was based in Long Island and soon they went out to see him, but when they arrived at his house, he wasn't there! So the promoter suggested they go see another Long Island MC named Rakim. As history goes, Rakim was home that day!

They began their collaboration immediately, and Eric B. borrowed some records from Rakim's brother and they headed down to the basement to begin creating their first track. Rakim opened a beer and just kicked backed while Eric. B started the process setting up his equipment and finding the records to sample.

After setting up his gear and listening to the records he borrowed from Rakim's brother he settled on Fonda Rae's 'Over Like A Fat Rat'. When he told Rakim "This is the bassline I'm going to use for the record", Rakim couldn't control his laughter and sprayed beer all over the wall when he burst out laughing! Rakim thought it was the funniest thing ever and Eric B. replied, "Just like you laughing now you going to be laughing all the way to the bank and be a millionaire one day because of this record."

That's how the two met, and after this initial meeting, they quickly recorded their somewhat jumbled yet legendary debut record titled Paid In Full. The duo went on to record 4 albums in the 6 years that they were together, all of which debuted in the top 10. They also released 15 singles, including the number 1 hit "Don't Sweat The Technique" from their last album in 1992.

Alexander Ramalho