July 7, 1987
Eric B. & Rakim released their debut album, Paid in Full, through 4th & B’way Records in 1987. Paid in Full was completely recorded in Marley Marl’s home studio, and produced entirely by Eric B & Rakim themselves.
The album featured the classic hit songs “Eric B Is President”, “I Ain’t No Joke”, “My Melody” and “Eric B Is On The Cut”. These songs, along with many other of Eric B & Rakim’s, have been sampled worldwide in hip hop thousands of times since their releases.
In the album, Rakim introduced the hip hop world to an internal rhyme scheme with his new writing style. His relaxed delivery resulted from his jazz influences as he had previously played the saxophone. Eric B’s heavy sampling production would have a major impact on hip hop as he reinstated the art of live turntable mixing.
Paid in Full became RIAA certified platinum in 1995, and in 2003 the album was ranked number 228 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is without a doubt a classic hip hop album.