A New Mix Tells Rakim’s Story Through His Spoken Words & Music (Audio)

Friday (July 7) marked a major milestone for Hip-Hop. Eric B. & Rakim’s debut album Paid In Full celebrated its 30th birthday. With the event, Eric and Rakim reunited at the Apollo Theater for their first concert together in approximately 25 years. In support of the anniversary, more than 20 artists showed up for a Hip-Hop homecoming.

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Paying their respects to a classic album, journalist/author Brian Coleman and mixmaster/producer DJ Eclipse teamed for a Paid In Full “InterroMix” (Do The Knowledge, Vol. 1). The 21-minute mix combines Coleman’s November 2003 interview with Rakim for his Check The Technique, Vol. 1 text with music related to the discussion.

More than a typical podcast or listen-along, this traces Rakim’s story with samples and other relevant music, plus lots of Paid In Full content.

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In the 13-plus-year-old tape, Rakim explains that a lot of the drum and break samples used on Paid In Full are based on his early MC routines from the park. He clarifies what Eric did in the studio, giving a lot of credit to his partner. The Long Island legend lyricist also spoke about the close ties between his duo and Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, and the healthy rivalry on the road in ’86 and ’87. As a fun fact, Rakim also says that his biggest purchase in those days when it came to truck jewels, was a $14,000 gold chain. The pair helped signal one of Hip-Hop’s most ostentatious eras with their artwork, featuring the Paid In Full Possé. Rakim also recalls confronting a bootlegger in his hometown, only to learn that his music was now on the radio.

“I have always wanted to bring my interview tapes fully to life, and this is the ultimate way to do so,” Coleman said of his new series in a press statement. “I have been a huge fan of DJ Eclipse for many years, and I’m honored to work with him on this project. His knowledge, skills and ear for music makes him the perfect person to blend vocals and music together to tell an even deeper story about legendary artists like Rakim. People have seen these interviews in print before, but previous to this I am the only person who has ever heard them. There’s a huge difference between seeing and hearing a legend’s voice, as I think this new concept proves.”

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The first edition of Coleman’s first text was notably titled Rakim Told Me.