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Follow the Leader (Expanded)

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Editors’ Notes

Rakim’s command of language continued on its existentialist bent (“Am I eternal, or an eternalist?”) on Follow the Leader, his and DJ Eric B.’s second album. Noting in the title and opening cut that there’s “one R in the alphabet,” he both took greatness as his due and demonstrated why. Boasting about his ability to disorient with words in “Lyrics of Fury” (“The pain’s a migraine every time you think”), he convinces us that the reason “the album was late” is that we were still digesting the previous one. And Eric B.’s art kept up, with multi-instrumentalist Stevie Blass Griffin contributing to the musical flow. The backward-spun syncopations of “No Competition” opened up new possibilities of hip-hop sound, and the cutmaster’s showcase “Eric B. Never Scared” is a masterpiece of tone and intent built from a tiny group of elements: a crushing beat, samples of Bob Marley and the Eagles (!), and a couple of Rakim slogans (“Never scared, I’ll just have fun”).

Customer Reviews

Rakim changed that game...

Every MC out right now owes a huge debt to Ramkim. The man singled handedly changed the way MCs approch the mic, their lyrical content, and even the very way they rap. He might not be the best MC in history (Nas, Pac, Big, Jay and Big L are top 5 IMO) but he is the most IMPORTANT. He took rap from the Party vibe to the raw street vibe, and this break is where %80 (excluding most of the Dirty South stuff, that's more on the Run DMC/Bambata party tip) can trace its roots back to. Every track on here is just full of intricate wordplay and back up by beats that still bump to this day. Visionary to say the least.

Follow the Leader

Rakim is truly a legend. Rakim has true control of the microphone and a seemingly endless reservoir of metaphors. And amazingly he does not use profanity!! My personal favorite is the R. Every hip-hop fan should own at least one Rakim CD. For the younger crowd that worships Jay-Z and Nas, this is the guy that inspired them to become the rappers that they are today.

Classic!

Yep! Classic! If you haven't heard that about this album before then I'm glad that you're hearing it now! Eric B. & Rakim are like a one, two punch from Iron Mike Tyson (of old)! "Follow The Leader" is Old School Hip-Hop at it's finest! I can remember when "Follow The Leader" was a new video on YO! MTV Raps! It was great then and is an album that you should have in your collection today! "Competition Is None."

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s

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...
Full Bio