2. Eric B. & Rakim (1986-1993)
In September 2011, Eric B & Rakim were nominated for induction into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though the hip hop duo did not receive the (supposed) honor, the two individuals still remain an essential foundation for all future hip hop artists. The main catalysts of the Golden Age in Hip Hop, Eric B. & Rakim stunned the East Coast rap community following the release of its 1987 debut record, Paid in Full. Merging inventive poeticism and melodious percussions, Paid in Full literally lived up to the duo’s interpretation of the term MC: move the crowd. DJ Eric B. explored the marriage of music and technology, managing to expand rather than eliminate the human element within his turntables while MC Rakim unsettled his listeners with intellectual and investigative rhymes.
Without Eric B. & Rakim, we wouldn’t have: Wu-Tang Clang; Gang Starr; Mobb Deep; Nas; Jay-Z; and OutKast.