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Classic Hip Hop Legends - Eric B and Rakim
Category: Classic Hip Hop
Tags: eric b rakim paid full word life production classic hip hop legend new qulaity

They never had a mainstream hit of their own, but during rap's so-called golden age in the late '80s, Eric B. & Rakim were almost universally recognized as the premier DJ/MC team in all of hip-hop. Not only was their chemistry superb, but individually, each represented the absolute state of the art in their respective skills. Eric B. was a hugely influential DJ and beatmaker whose taste for hard-hitting James Brown samples touched off a stampede through the Godfather of Soul's back catalog that continues up to the present day. Rakim, meanwhile, still tops fan polls as the greatest MC of all time. He crafted his rhymes like poetry, filling his lines with elaborate metaphors and complex internal rhymes, and he played with the beat like a jazzman, earning a reputation as the smoothest-flowing MC ever to pick up a mic. His articulation was clear, his delivery seemingly effortless, and his influence on subsequent MCs incalculable. Together, their peerless technique on the microphone and turntables upped the ante for all who followed them, and their advancement of hip-hop as an art form has been acknowledged by everyone from Gang Starr to the Wu-Tang Clan to Eminem. While certain elements of their sound might come off as slightly dated today, it's also immediately clear how much of a hand Eric B. & Rakim had in leading hip-hop into the modern age.

Eric B. was born Eric Barrier in 1965 in Elmhurst, Queens; his future partner, William Griffin, Jr., was born in 1968 and also hailed from the suburbs of New York, specifically Wyandanch, Long Island. At age 16, Griffin converted to Islam and adopted the name Rakim Allah. Barrier played trumpet and guitar early on, but switched to the turntables in high school, and eventually landed a job as the mobile DJ for radio station WBLS. It was there that he met Rakim, and the two officially formed a partnership in 1985. Their first single -- "Eric B. Is President" (an ode to Barrier's DJ skills) b/w "My Melody" -- was released on the tiny Harlem-based indie label Zakia. It was a street-level sensation during the summer of 1986, and the duo was picked up by the larger 4th & Broadway imprint. The equally monumental singles "I Ain't No Joke" and "I Know You Got Soul" sampled James Brown and his cohort Bobby Byrd, respectively, and their utter funkiness began to revolutionize the sound of hip-hop. Moreover, Rakim's line "pump up the volume" on the latter track was in turn sampled itself, becoming the basis for M/A/R/R/S' hit of the same name.

Paid in Full

In 1987, 4th & Broadway issued the duo's full-length debut, Paid in Full; accompanied by a mighty underground buzz, the record climbed into the Top Ten on the R&B LP charts (as would all of their subsequent albums). Additionally, the British DJ duo Coldcut remixed the title cut into a bona fide U.K. smash. The exposure helped make "Paid in Full"'s drum track one of the most sampled beats this side of James Brown's "Funky Drummer"; it provided the foundation for Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True," among many other, more credible hits. On the heels of Paid in Full, Eric B. & Rakim signed with MCA subsidiary Uni and consolidated their reputation with another landmark hip-hop album, 1988's Follow the Leader. The title cut took its place among the classic singles already in their canon, and Jody Watley soon tapped the duo for a guest spot on her 1989 single "Friends," which brought them into the pop Top Ten for the first and only time.

 

Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em

The 1990 follow-up Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em proved relatively disappointing from a creative standpoint, although 1992's slightly jazzier Don't Sweat the Technique was a more consistent affair that bolstered their legacy. As it turned out, the record also completed that legacy. The duo's contract with MCA was almost up, and they had discussed the possibility of each recording a solo album. Unfortunately, the resulting tension over the future of their partnership ultimately destroyed it. In the aftermath of the breakup, various legal issues prevented both parties from starting their solo careers for quite some time. The only recording to appear was Rakim's first solo cut, "Heat It Up," which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1993 film Gunmen. Finally, in 1995, Eric B. issued his self-titled solo debut on his own 95th Street label. Rakim, meanwhile, signed with Universal and delivered a pair of acclaimed comeback albums, 1997's The 18th Letter and 1999's The Master.

Source: AllMusic

US Gold Medalist - Kim Zmeskal Tags: us gymnast kim zmeskal sports entertainment word life production new quality entertainment

Born February 6, 1976, in Houston, Texas, Kim Zmeskal would soon become one of America's greatest gymnasts, landing a spot on the cover of Time Magazine and in the hearts of gymnastics fans across the globe.

Zmeskal began gymnastics at six years of age when she began classes at a new school opened in her home city by none other than Bela Karolyi (who would come to become the most famous gymnastics coach the world has known). Growing up in gymnastics, young Zmeskal would have the opportunity to watch and observe Mary Lou Retton, America's golden child of 1980s gymnastics and one of Zmeskal's personal heroes. Other great gymnasts would soon join Karolyi's gym, including Betty Okino, Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu, and Kerri Strug.

Zmeskal broke into elite gymnastics early on and became the U.S. Junior National Champion in 1989 at age 13, after winning several awards previous that year. For the next three years, the name of Kim Zmeskal would become synonymous with all-around titles, as she began to sweep one gymnastics tournament after another. Come 1991, Zmeskal was America's great hope entering into the upcoming Olympics, and she responded beautifully to the pressure, nailing performance after performance to earn countless first place medals.

Then, the unthinkable happened: at the 1992 Olympic games, U.S. Gold-hopeful Kim Zmeskal fell off of the balance beam during her first routine. Despite flawless routines throughout the rest of her events, Zmeskal didn't manage to place. Her winning streak continued, and she eventually managed to make it back to 12th place in the compulsories, completing one of the best comebacks in gymnastics history. During all-around competition, Zmeskal once again made a fatal error: one foot stepped out of bounds during the floor exercise, dashing her hopes of bringing home a gold medal in the exact style of competition at which she excelled. Zmeskal, it seems, had been suffering from a stress fracture in her ankle, but was determined to compete in the Olympics nonetheless.

Zmeskal took a long break from gymnastics competition after the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, presumably to heal. Four years later, at 20 years of age, Zmeskal was poised for a comeback and qualified once again for the Olympics, landing a spot on the 1996 team along with many of her other students at Karolyi's gym. Injury would once again haunt Kim Zmeskal, however, as an injury to her ACL would prevent her from competing and force her to watch the games from the stands.

After the 1996 Olympics, Zmeskal competed in a handful of other competitions, holding strong to her past record but clearly weakening due to repeated injuries and age. She retired from gymnastics in 2000 due to injuries, and was inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Throughout her ten year career as a gymnastics competitor, Zmeskal achieved several perfect 10s in competition, first at the 1989 Arthur Gander Memorial in the floor exercise. She continued on to get another 5 perfect scores in vault and another two in floor exercise.

At the age of 30, Kim Zmeskal now coaches gymnastics with her husband, Chris Burdette, at Texas Dreams Gymnastics, their gymnastics school in Coppell, Texas. In her time on the other side of the mat, Zmeskal has produced several strong athletes, many of whom have made strong showings in competition and won scholarships, including Tiffany Tolnay, a three-time Junior Olympic All-Around Champion. Zmeskal's hard work both in competition and as a coach have paid off, and she can now rest peacefully, knowing that her name will be a household name in gymnastics for many years to come.

Source: Yahoo Voices

In Living Color is one of the most hilarious comedy sitcoms Tags: in living color damon waynes kim waynes jamie fox shawn marlon jim carey tommy

In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series that originally ran on the Fox Network from April 15, 1990, to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote and starred in the program. The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television and was taped before a live studio audience at stage 7 at the Fox Television Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The title of the series was inspired by the NBC announcement of broadcasts being presented "in living color" during the 1950s and 1960s, prior to mainstream color television. It also refers to the fact that most of the show's cast were black, unlike other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live whose casts are usually mostly white.

Other members of the Wayans family—Kim, Shawn and Marlon—had regular roles, while brother Dwayne frequently appeared as an extra. The show also starred the previously unknown actor/comedians Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier. Additionally, actress Rosie Perez, Dancing with the Stars judge and choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba and dancer Jennifer Lopez (now best known as a singer and actress) were members of the show's dance troupe The Fly Girls. The series won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series in 1990.

The sketch comedy show helped launch the careers of male comedians/actors Jim Carrey (then credited as "James Carrey"), one of only two Caucasian members of the original cast, Jamie Foxx, who joined the cast in the third season and David Alan Grier (an established theatre actor, who had worked in Keenen Ivory Wayans' 1988 motion picture I'm Gonna Git You Sucka).

The series strove to produce comedy with a strong emphasis on modern black subject matter. For instance, Carrey was frequently used to ridicule white musicians such as Snow and Vanilla Ice, who performed in genres more commonly associated with black people. A sketch parodying Soul Train mocked the show as Old Train, suggesting the show (along with its host, Don Cornelius) was out of touch and only appealed to the elderly and the dead.

Opening credits

For the first half-dozen episodes, an exotic-looking logo was used for the opening credits. However, after the band Living Colour claimed in a lawsuit that the show stole the band's logo and name,[1] the logo was changed to one with rather plain-type letters of three colors.

In the first two seasons, the opening sequence was set in a room covered with painters' tarps. Each cast member, wearing black-and-white, played with brightly colored paint in a different way (throwing globs of it at the camera by hand, using a roller to cover the camera lens, etc.). The sequence ended with a segue to a set built to resemble the rooftop of an apartment building, where the show's dancers performed a routine and opened a door to let Keenen Ivory Wayans greet the audience.

For the third and fourth seasons, an animated sequence and different logo were used. Here, the real-life cast members were superimposed over pictures hanging in an art gallery and interacted with them in different ways (spinning the canvas to put it right-side up, swinging the frame out as if it were a door, etc.). The final image was of the logo on a black canvas, which shattered to begin the show. The fifth season retained the logo, but depicted the cast members on various signs and billboards around a city (either New York or Chicago), ending with the logo displayed on a theater marquee.

The hip-hop group Heavy D & the Boyz performed two different versions of the opening theme. One version was used for the first two seasons and remixed for the fifth, while the other was featured in the third and fourth seasons.

Live musical performances

In Living Color was known for its live music performances, which started in Season 2 with Queen Latifah as their first performer (appearing again in the third season). Some of the other music acts who performed on the show were Heavy D, Public Enemy, Kris Kross, En Vogue, Eazy-E, Monie Love, Onyx, 3rd Bass, MC Lyte, Arrested Development, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Tupac Shakur, Us3, and Leaders of the New School.

The Fly Girls

The show employed an in-house dance troupe, known as the "The Fly Girls". The original lineup consisted of Carrie Ann Inaba (who would later become a choreographer and judge on Dancing with the Stars), Cari French, Deidre Lang, Lisa Marie Todd, and Michelle Whitney-Morrison. Rosie Perez was the choreographer for the first four seasons. Perhaps the most notable former Fly Girl was future actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, who joined the show in its third season.

The Fly Girls would sometimes be used as extras in sketches, or as part of an opening gag. In one sketch, they were shown performing open-heart surgery (in the sketch, the girls are dancing in order to pay their way through medical school). The troupe's name is the same as the 1969 book title The Fly Girls by Bernard Glemser, which was popularized by the movie Come Fly with Me (based on the book).

Controversies

Departure of the Wayans family

Keenen Ivory Wayans stopped appearing in skits in 1992 after the end of the third season, over disputes with Fox about the network censoring the show's content and rerunning early episodes without his consultation. Wayans feared that Fox would ultimately decrease the syndication value of In Living Color.[2] Damon left at the end of the third season to pursue a movie career, though he made a few "special guest appearances" in the fourth season. During the fourth season (1992–1993), Keenen appeared only in the season opener, though he remained the executive producer and thus stayed in the opening credits until the tenth episode. Marlon left shortly after Keenen resigned as producer; and Shawn and Kim both left at the end of the fourth season.

Censorship

Fox censorship of scripts increased after In Living Color produced a live Super Bowl halftime special (branded by the network as The Doritos Zaptime/'In Living Color' Super Halftime Party). During the "Men on Football" sketch, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier ad libbed a suggestion that Richard Gere and track and field star Carl Lewis were homosexuals, much to Lewis' dismay. The programming stunt lured 20 to 25 million viewers from CBS' telecast of the halftime festivities during Super Bowl XXVI on January 26, 1992. Also, the originally-aired version of another sketch unrelated to the Super Bowl special ("Men on Fitness" – February 7, 1993) included a simulation of Damon Wayans' character Blaine enjoying receiving facial ejaculation while being sprayed with a water bottle. These two segments were initially cut from reruns, but have been airing on the Centric cable channel. The DVD releases have the Gere and Lewis references cut but retain the facial ejaculation simulation.

Reruns of the program on BET have questionable words and phrases (such as "ho" and "@!$%#") muted. One line ("drop the soap") during the second "Men on Film" sketch was muted out by Fox censors before ever airing on TV for its implications of prison rape. The DVD releases have the language intact (except for the "drop the soap" line), but have numerous sketches edited to remove song lyrics and music video parodies due to copyright and licensing issues (for example, the "Fire Marshall Bill Christmas" sketch originally had Jim Carrey singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" before the house exploded; on the DVD version, the short scene was cut, making it look like the house immediately exploded after the last person ran out).

On the May 5, 1990 broadcast, Keenen Ivory Wayans did a parody of a Colt 45 commercial featuring Billy Dee Williams (in which the purpose of the beverage is to get one's date drunk enough to have sex) that ended with a woman (played by Kim Coles) passed out on her back on a dining table, and "Billy Dee" moving in on her unconscious body to have sex with her. The "Bolt 45" sketch was seen only once during the original broadcast and omitted from repeats due to complaints from censors and viewers that it was mocking date rape.[citation needed] The Season 1 DVD set of ILC did not include the cut sketch from the pilot. This sketch was cut by Fox censors, and the necessary modifications were made to the master tape. Keenen Ivory Wayans accidentally mixed up the master tape of the pilot, and the edited master was broadcast instead. The sketch has never been broadcast since, not even in syndication, on FX, or on BET, and is considered lost forever. It has been replaced by "The Exxxon Family" (a fake promo for a sitcom about a clumsy Exxon boat captain and his wife, played by Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield) in syndication and DVD box sets.

The final season

By the fifth and final season, none of the Wayans family had any involvement with the show. The show's reliance on character-driven sketches gave way to an increasing reliance on celebrity cameos and guest appearances, including Nick Bakay (who played the host of The Dirty Dozens game show sketches), Barry Bonds, James Brown, Rodney Dangerfield, Bret Hart, Sherman Hemsley, Biz Markie, Peter Marshall, Ed O'Neill, Chris Rock, Macho Man Randy Savage, Tupac Shakur, and players from the NBA. Kelly Coffield, who, prior to Alexandra Wentworth's arrival in the fourth season was the lone white female cast member, left at the end of the fourth season.

Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, and "Fly Girl" Deidre Lang are the only cast members who remained on the show from beginning to end, although Jim Carrey's appearances became very limited due to his rising movie career while Tommy Davidson missed a few episodes for undisclosed reasons.

Chris Rock appeared (as a "special guest star") in a number of skits in the fifth season, and reprised his "Cheap Pete" character from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. In the early years of In Living Color, Rock was parodied as being the only African American cast member on Saturday Night Live (despite SNL also having Tim Meadows at the time). In an SNL episode honoring Mother's Day, Rock's mother states that she is disappointed in him for not trying out for In Living Color, to which Rock states he is happy with his job on SNL.

Other recurring guest stars in the fifth season include Nick Bakay (for The Dirty Dozens sketches) and Peter Marshall (for several editions of East Hollywood Squares). Rapper Biz Markie also appeared in various roles as a guest star in the fifth season, such as being in drag as Wanda the Ugly Woman's sister or as "Dirty Dozens" contestant Damian "Foosball" Franklin.

Where it was originally produced by 20th Century Fox Television on Fox, the series was in reruns on local affiliates and on the News Corporation-owned FX cable channel, where it was distributed by Twentieth Television.

Reruns of the show aired on BET from 2005–2008, and returned in 2010. Reruns have also aired on MTV2, VH1, nuvoTV, and on BET-owned Centric.

The Best of In Living Color aired on MyNetworkTV from April 16 to June 18, 2008. Hosted by David Alan Grier, it was a retrospective show featuring classic sketches, along with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The show aired on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central, after MyNetworkTV's sitcom Under One Roof.

At the 2006 BET Awards when the show returned from one of its commercial breaks, the show's host Damon Wayans played a character very reminiscent to "Men on ..." critic Blaine Edwards.

In Living Color alums Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, and David Alan Grier reprised some of their In Living Color characters on Saturday Night Live:

Damon Wayans, a featured player during that show's eleventh season, hosted an episode from SNL's 20th season in 1995, where he brought on two of his famous In Living Color characters: homeless wino Anton Jackson and gay film critic Blaine Edwards.

Jim Carrey auditioned to be one of the repertory members on SNL 's ill-fated 1980-1981 season, but was dropped in favor of Charles Rocket (who later appeared in the 1989 film Earth Girls Are Easy and the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber with Carrey). Carrey hosted the season finale of SNL's 21st season in 1996, where he impersonated Fire Marshal Bill during the monologue.

David Alan Grier first hosted SNL during season 21 and reprised his In Living Color role as "Men on..." critic Antoine Merriweather, which the end of the sketch included a surprise on-set appearance from Damon Wayans as Blaine. Grier hosted SNL on December 9, 1995 (season 21) and March 18, 1997 (season 22).

Jamie Foxx reprised his role as Wanda in a short segment at the 2009 BET Awards.

In the 1997 film Liar Liar, Jim Carrey reprised his "Fire Marshal Bill" character (albeit with no lines) in the background of one of the closing scenes.

The February 10, 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Jennifer Lopez included a sketch where Lopez "reunited" with the Fly Girls (played by Rachel Dratch, Jerry Minor and Tracy Morgan).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has released all five seasons of In Living Color on DVD in Region 1. Unfortunately the sets have been edited due to music licensing issues, resulting in some episodes' having entire sketches removed. Additionally (as discussed above, under "Censorship"), the "Bolt 45" sketch (which aired one-time only on May 5, 1990) has been omitted, as has the simulated facial ejaculation scene in the "Men on Fitness" sketch (which aired February 7, 1993), and the "soap" portion of the "drop the soap" line in the second "Men on Film" sketch has been muted.

In 2011, there were plans to make a reboot of the original series that featured a new cast, characters, and sketches.The pilot episodes were hosted and executive produced by original series creator and cast member Keenen Ivory Wayans. In early 2012, Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo were hired as the choreographers. They cast the new line-up of The Fly Girls and shot pilot episodes for the show which were set to air on FOX, like the original. However, on January 8, 2013, Keenen Ivory Wayans confirmed the reboot had been canceled because he and FOX did not feel that the show was sustainable after one season.

Reported cast members included Cooper Barnes, Jennifer Bartels, Sydney Castillo, Josh Duvendeck, Jermaine Fowler, Ayana Hampton, Kali Hawk, and Lil Rel Howery.In addition, featured cast members were Henry Cho, Melanie Minichino, and Chris Leidecker. Members of the new Fly Girls included Christina Chandler, Tera Perez, Lisa Rosenthal, Katee Shean, and Whitney Wiley.

Wikipedia

THE LORETTA CLAIBORNE STORY Tags: loretta claiborne story special olympics kimberly elise

Loretta Claiborne was the middle of seven children in a poor, single-parent family. Born partially blind and intellectually challenged, she was unable to walk or talk until age 4. Eventually, though, she began to run. And before she knew it, she had crossed the finish line of 25 marathons, twice placing among the top 100 women in the Boston Marathon. She's carried the torch in the International Special Olympics, has won medals in dozens of its events, and also holds the current women's record in her age group for the 5000 meters at 17 minutes.

Today, Claiborne is a celebrated athlete who was honored in 1996 with ESPN's ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Her life is recounted in Walt Disney Productions The Loretta Claiborne Story (originally broadcast on ABC-TV and now on videocassette) and in the biography In Her Stride published by WorldScapes. Considering all of Claiborne's achievements, these are just small steps in her life's mission to show that persons with mental and physical disabilities are equal to those without.

"I figured if my story could change a person's mind about another person, or especially a child's mind about another child, then it was the right thing to do," Claiborne says. Now in her early fifties, the athlete recalls a time when children taunted her for being different and how the taunting turned her into an angry young woman who was expelled from high school and fired from a job. Although she loved to run and used her speed and strength to protect herself in fights against cruel classmates, she credits the Special Olympics with helping her realize that her tremendous athletic talent could be used to do good.

Claiborne was first introduced to Special Olympics by social worker Janet McFarland (played by Emmy Award-winner Camryn Manheim in the movie). She credits McFarland as well as her family, community, educators; Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her own strong spirituality with giving her the confidence necessary to become a world-class runner.

"If it weren't for sports, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I was very angry before and sports were the arena that turned that around for me," Claiborne says. "I got support from family, community and God -- he is the strength of all and can make anything possible." The Loretta Claiborne Story not only outlines Claiborne's personal and spiritual journey, but it shows her joyful, sometimes mischievous personality.

"In the simplest terms, it's about possibility," says executive producer Suzanne de Passe. "Loretta Claiborne's life is uplifting and full of a sense of renewal. But it's not humorless. It doesn't hit you like a freight train with a somber, one-note refrain. This is also about a very engaging, funny personality."

Running is not the only part of Claiborne's life. She holds a black belt in karate, communicates in four languages, including sign language, and holds honorary doctorate degrees from Quinnipiac College and Villanova University, making her the first person with an intellectual disability known to receive such honors, according to the Special Olympics organization.

However, Claiborne says the most rewarding part of her life has been her involvement with the Special Olympics, and she wants to continue helping people with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities succeed. She advises them, "Find an opportunity and seize it. Be the best you can be, and never let anyone doubt you."

Claiborne runs every day -- often about 5 miles, even when she plans to go only three or four. Just for the joy of it, the joy of the moment. It's how she lives her life. "I don't really look toward the future because you don't know what tomorrow will be bring," she says. "You have to live your life for today."

 

IN THIS MONTH'S LEGENDARY CORNER THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON ERIC B & RAKIM Tags: eric b rakim real hip hop music legendary corner word life production feature


While Eric B dazzled listeners with his turntable techniques, Rakim pointed the way toward the easy-rollin' style of the '90s with his laidback raps, though forceful in content. Each of the duo's first three albums achieved gold status, and they even managed the Top Five R&B hit "Friends" in 1989.

While working as a mobile DJ for New York's WBLS during 1985, Eric Barrier met William Griffin, a top MC who had grown up on Long Island. The two began recording together and emerged with "Eric B Is President."

The single appeared in 1986 on Harlem's Zakia label, and became a street sensation. Signed to 4th & Broadway the following year, Eric B & Rakim released their debut album, Paid in Full.

The LP's success led to a contract with Uni/MCA in 1988, and their second album, Follow the Leader, was released that year. Two more albums followed, Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em (1990) and Don't Sweat the Technique (1992), after which the duo broke up. By the mid-'90s, Eric B. had emerged as a solo act on his own 95th Street label. — John Bush

Review: Eric B. and Rakim - Follow the Leader - LP (MCA - 1988)

 

After coming out with one of the most impressive and successful debut albums in Hip-Hop history, Paid In Full, there had to be serious pressure on Eric B. and Rakim to beat the dreaded sophomore jinx with the release of their second LP. Not only did the duo beat the odds with Follow the Leader, they also expanded their range with dope original music and beats and also with precise lyrics delivered by Rakim that had many MCs and fans on his nut-sack. The atmospheric title track (with its menacing keyboard accompaniment) gave Rakim the room to spit imaginative lyrics that showcased his original approach to rocking the mic while taking the listener on a musical journey - an instant classic track.

But wait, the second track is just as dope, "Microphone Fiend." Over Average White Band’s funky "Schoolboy Crush" Rakim explains his addiction to kickin’ lyrics that started at an early age: "’Cause I grab the mic and try to say yes y’all/They try to take it, they say that I’m too small/Cool ’cause I don’t get upset/I kick a hole in the speaker, pull the plug, then I jet."

The rest of the LP is consistent with this level of achievement, if not as stunning, which means it still was way above most of the competition. The bottom line is that this team has secured a permanent place in rap history, and way after all the wannabe gangstas and marijuana bandwagon-jumpers have been forgotten, albums like this will still have heads bobbin’.  

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