The first Hip-Hop Classic column, reprinted from the July 1994 edition of The 411:
Few albums have had as much impact on rap music as Eric B. & Rakim's Paid in Full. This duo's debut is undoubtedly one of the most frequently sampled albums in rap history, and has influenced many of today's top hip-hop artists, including A Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre, Digital Underground, Warren G. and Black Moon. The Doggpound's Kurupt has probably been the most heavily influenced, paying homage to Rakim, his "idol," on several Doggpound tracks.
However, the influence is not the only thing that makes Paid in Full a classic. Rakim has always been one of rap's premier lyricists, and nowhere is this displayed better than on tracks like "I Ain't No Joke," "My Melody" and "Eric B. Is President." Furthermore, he has never needed to use profanity to "Move the Crowd" or get his point across. Rakim continually brings his original rough-rhyme style to the mic, while Eric B. compliments it with beats and scratches in the background. Unfortunately, Eric B. and Rakim parted ways last year after four albums. However, what they did accomplish while together greatly influenced and changed the world of rap, and truly deserves the title of Hip-Hop Classic.