Eric B and Rakim
Follow the Leader


4.0
excellent

Review

by Joe Schmoh USER (73 Reviews)
November 29th, 2009 | 24 replies | 8,167 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Follow The Leader is Eric B's LSD Baby, but that doesn't stop Rakim's continual mic rocking.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Eric B. & Rakim: Their name rings bells in the ears of hip hop fans across the globe. Who are they? Only the most influential, greatest rap duo of them all, is the response fans will give you. Eric B.’s beats are banging, Rakim is (used to be) one of the best MC’s to ever touch the microphone, truly a beast of a duo. Paid In Full is everyone’s favorite records, and many rappers even today quote every little line written from that album. With that in mind, it becomes a much fresher and thus much harder to review such an album as Follow The Leader, Paid In Full’s younger, crazier brother that was ignored in comparison to his older brother, and yet puts his young siblings to shame. To put it simply, Follow The Leader is a much different record than Paid In Full, but it isn’t fair to say that Paid In Full is entirely the better album.

Follow The Leader, in comparison to Paid In Full, is much more weird, eccentric, and at times, quirky in the sound of its production. Paid In Full, as sonically pleasing as it is, seems quite normal in comparison to Follow The Leader, which takes its samples from a large diversity of places, whether it’s James Brown, The Eagles, or even someone as obscure as percussionist Coke Escovedo. This works both towards and against Follow The Leader. The title track illustrates the perfection of Eric B’s experimentation, the blurry bass and old school drums fuse and transcend merely old school rap, rather, “Follow the Leader” is something threatening to your safety. “Lyrics of Fury” takes influence of the rock of Run D.M.C., and makes it something different, with down-toned guitar riffing, submersed atmospheres, and digitalized, distorted vocals. The beats are almost uniformly sparse and diverse, ranging from the James Brown-influenced funk of “Microphone Fiend”, the African drums and unique jazz tendencies of “No Competition”, and the cartoonish bounce of “To the Listeners”.

But if Follow The Leader is a brother to Paid In Full, what do they even have in common at all? Between them, it at first seems like nothing, but then it becomes clear because they are completely the same person when it comes to looks. And Rakim, is the sweet looks, as his style remains all too intact in Paid In Full. His flow becomes more hungry on the opening tracks, but it becomes clear that he is the same MC he ever was. Follow The Leader is full of quotables, particularly from its title track (“Follow me into a solo, get in the flow/you could picture like a photo”), that show that Rakim is a perfectly well-rounded MC, mixing simple yet clever punchlines with wondrous imagery; but most of the time giving us a clear-headed image of an MC who just wants to rip the microphone like a phone book.

Other than a couple of foolish mistakes (an instrumental of the “To The Listeners”? really?) and the lackluster Eric B. solo trip “Eric B. Never Scared”, a pretentious anthem to himself that elapses on itself and never seems to dig itself out of the hole, Follow The Leader is a successful experiment. Even the most experimental tracks have a certain bounce and groove only Eric B. could provide, and Rakim, as usual, rips it up with his ever punchy and consistent flow and to-the-point lyrics. Follow The Leader isn’t quite it’s perfect older brother, but it’s achievement in the fact that Eric B. & Rakim managed to follow up their classic debut with an album almost as good. An excellent record indeed.



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user ratings (115)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
thecreative0ne (5)
Although not better than Paid In Full, Follow The Leader is still a masterpiece....


Comments:Add a Comment 
hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This needed a review.

Powerban
November 29th 2009



2380 Comments


Are you some sort of reviewing bot? Good stuff.

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm anything you want me to be

FUCK i just noticed how much i said record on this review.

qwe3
November 29th 2009



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

like 10 times in one paragraph man hahaha but dw you can edit it, good review also. you have a great slant on hip hop.

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

okay added some albums in there

danke bro.

qwe3
November 29th 2009



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i havent heard this but im def gonna listen to it now

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A lil pos would help my cause nigga

hipnotoad
November 29th 2009



207 Comments


Only album I've heard by these were their last one. Which was mainly because of the movie Juice. I really liked that album as whole though. Good review too, pos'd.

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't Sweat The Technique is their worst album, so along with this i recommend ALL of their albums, especially Paid In Full and This.

hipnotoad
November 29th 2009



207 Comments


Hmm, going to check this out then, cause I really enjoyed that album.

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a great record, don't get me wrong on that.

Kyle
November 29th 2009



667 Comments


Yup this is great. Nice to see plenty of hip hop reviews on the site recently.

FistfulOfSteel
November 29th 2009



894 Comments


great review and album bro. keep pumping them out.

Powerban
November 29th 2009



2380 Comments


Eazy-E - Eazy Does It is pretty much my fav rap record of all time, but only because I grew up with it. Reason for mentioning it? I think you'd be able to give it some justice with a review.

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i know i've heard THAT album, i may look into it.

Bulldog
November 29th 2009



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Really good review. Summary and recommendations are A+

MUNGOLOID
March 16th 2010



4275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Lyrics of Fury" pwns your life.

BigPoppaDiesel
January 27th 2011



150 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Rakim is The G.O.A.T.! Bar none. He was a ahead of his time! His lyrical flow and picture perfect rhymes painted Picasso's while everyone else was still messin' wit crayons! "Cool, "cause I don't get upset, I kick a whole in the speaker, pull tha' plug, then I jet..."

gosk8n
November 26th 2011



1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is spot on

Digging: Mumdance and Pinch - Pinch B2B Mumdance

pissbore
June 30th 2013



9935 Comments


true masterpiece right here



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