Eric B. & Rakim, The Complete Collection (Box Set)


Ships on: June 27, 2024

You cannot mention rap's greatest groups of all time without naming Eric B. & Rakim. This latest release, Eric B. & Rakim: The Complete Collection, is a career box set honoring one of hip-hop's most consequential duos, spanning their greatest releases and moments all in one thoughtfully detailed compendium. Rap's landscape was forever changed when Rakim emerged from Long Island in the mid 1980s. His contemplative flow coupled with imaginative metaphors had all MCs before him scratching their heads- while all future MCs improved their approach. In a time where MCs kept the party moving to beats, Rakim methodically made partygoers stop and listen.

Eric B was out of Queens, New York with a musical background in traditional instruments like the trumpet and drums. It wasn't until after high school when Eric B. was introduced to the sampler and he quickly tried his hand at sound experimentation under the tutelage of Juice Crew maestro, Marley Marl.

The duo's first release, Paid In Full, was released in 1987 on 4th & B'way Records and earned a top 10 spot on the Billboard charts. The profoundly impactful album captivated listeners both new and old, and ushered forth huge singles and trailblazing releases—Follow the Leader and Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em. Despite not charting well, Follow the Leader became a heralded instant fan favorite, especially with tracks like "Lyrics of Fury," which to this day is held high in the pantheon of great Rakim moments. Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em didn't receive wide industry acclaim but the album's lyrical content—its complex themes, brevity, and poignant imagery—further cemented Rakim as one of the living greats. It also was one of the first records to achieve the highly sought after "5 Mics" in the Source Magazine at the time.

By the time Don't Sweat the Technique came out, fandom was at a huge high, particularly Rakim's lyrical wizardry and advanced cadences. While the duo split shortly thereafter, Rakim would go on to be compared to Jazz giants like Thelonious Monk—while this fertile era between '86-'92 remains one of the most impactful of any within recorded music.

Bringing all four of Eric B. & Rakim's projects to vinyl, this special edition, one-of-a-kind 8LP box set also features a deluxe booklet, the album's original liner notes, and a 2CD collection containing over 20 rare remixes from 1986 to 1992.

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