Review Revue: Eric B. & Rakim – Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em

The argument over rap’s legitimacy as an art form, and whether sampling is stealing, has been going on pretty much since people first started rapping over borrowed beats. Something tells me many of rap’s originators would be amazed at the level of acceptance — and even dominance — their descendants have achieved in American culture. While it seems many of KCMU’s DJs deeply respected rap music, and Eric B. & Rakim as some its most inspired practitioners, there were also some who cried foul at the practice of sampling. I can’t help but think if this were a 12″ record there would have been a much more lengthy back and forth debate on the topic. As it is, you can barely see Eric & Rakim beneath all the labels.

“Yowsa!”

“2 is good. 5 is dumb.”

“#1 rocks.”

“I love this Eric B. & Rakim, particularly all those old black soul (?) samples.”

“Sampling of another person’s melodies is wrong. It’s theft of art. How good it sounds is irrelevant. It’s still wrong. Why can’t this and most other rap groups force themselves to write their own melodies instead of relying on the spirit and true art form of others? Rap music in itself is great stuff, but thievery is still stealing.”

“As deep, cold and sinister as ever. No one rhymes rhythmic like Rakim, and no one makes hip hop music like Eric B. Paid in Full and Follow the Leader were impressive efforts marred by a couple of weak cuts. This CD’s damn near perfect, and the only red dot is the 45 king remix. Love the Al Green sample on “Mahogany,” love the merciless scratching on “Eric B. Made My Day,” and love that Big Fucking Bass on every cut. Play 1, 2, 4, 6. 7, 8, 9, 10 — shit, play the whole thing.”

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