Acclaimed Albums – Paid in Full by Eric B. & Rakim

List item: Listen to the 1000 Most Acclaimed Albums
Progress: 322/1000
Title: Paid in Full
Artist: Eric B. & Rakim
Year: 1987

Okay, so it was really cool to hear where the sample for ‘Pump Up The Volume’ came from. Like, the phrase only occurs once in ‘I Know You Got Soul’, but it is so iconic that it sticks out so much. On the second listen of that same song, I clocked the phrase that was used in the intro to Aaliyah’s ‘Try Again’. Two pretty major samples from the same single on what is seen as one of the big influential hip-hop albums of this era.

What’s interesting about Paid in Full though is the differences between the highs and the rest of the album. Now, this might just be me being a novice, but it feels like in this album of 10 songs there are 4-5 incredibly strong songs and then the rest are okay. Maybe on other albums the remaining songs wouldn’t feel like such a dip, but against ‘I Ain’t No Joke’, ‘Paid in Full’, ‘Eric B. Is President’ and ‘I Know You Got Soul’, they just pale.

The thing that kept me listening to Paid in Full was Rakim’s words. I guess that Rakim is where a number of artists on the East Coast will have gotten inspiration for when it would come to their rhymes. Unlike Boogie Down Productions, there is no bravado and posturing, all the power is in the well spun words. Eric B’s beats are a great accompaniment and make this a really cool hip-hop album to listen to 34 years later.

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