Friday, August 05, 2011

90's Hit Parade #41



Eric B and Rakim - Don't Sweat the Technique

Rakim stood out from his peers (Chuck D, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane) for his Miles Davis-cool delivery. When the others were working at being as hard as possible, Rakim was laying back, his flow rough but calm. So it makes sense that he would eventually start rhyming over jazz samples. But the duo's use of jazz is nothing like A Tribe Called Quest or Digable Planets. The samples come fast and dissonant. Compared to the Bomb Squad production on Public Enemy records, it's relatively simple and uncluttered, but it has the same effect of overwhelming the senses, and centers Rakim's voice as the calm in the eye of the storm.

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