“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
Every Thursday here on Quitetrillworldwide we are doing a throwback Thursday. We will pick a jam from the past in any genre and give you some info that you may not have known before about that artist.
Everything changed when Eric B. & Rakim dropped “Paid in Full” in 1987. Hip Hop was in transition it was almost preparing for the new era of the 90s coming along and by most accounts was a simple art just spit what you see over hard beats and say it plain. No one told William Griffin (aka RAKIM) this. Rakim by his own account was a “jazz head” before he got into hip hop and applied the improvisation to his lyrical style. Rakim spit lyrics similar to a jazz soloist improvising and taking his art in all types of directions, the interesting part was he did this with his content not just his voice. Rakim has one of the most discernable voices ever in hip hop but it was what he said that made the biggest change. Before Rakim, hip hop lyrics had never been so visual meaning you could close your eyes and see what Rakim was talking about and when you saw it your mind just busted.
The fact that Rakim is one of the best ever of any era, dead or alive is not opinion to be debated it is fact to be studied. Rakim was as cool as he was lyrical, he just put it all together. He was strong, cool, stylish, mysterious, lyrical and smart. He looked like he sounded and you believed that he was those lyrics, you didn’t doubt it.
The Paid in Full album remains one of the best total albums in hip hop history, you just press play and never fast forward maybe rewind but you just let it play. Paid in Full is a heavy piece of music; something that you could not digest in the first play, it took a couple of listens not hearing but listening with your mind. The fact that the beats were so dope made it easier to digest but you had to think about this music and then when you got it the music got that much better because it was a full experience.
If I had to suggest one album to define hip hop to someone who has never heard hip hop “Paid in Full” would be the album.
Rakim: Definition of a Classic
The Paid in Full album
I Aint No Joke
Move The Crowd
Paid in Full video