Review Summary: Don't sweat the immensely spectacular technique.
Robert Christagu: A-
Entertainment Weekly: C+
Orlando Sentinel: 4/4
Rolling Stone: 4/5
The Source: 4 Mics
The curtains close, for Eric B and Rakim with this album. 4 albums, no bad songs, oh if only they could make an encore (not the Eminem album, I'd definitely not want them to make that).
Starting with their (classic) debut, "Paid In Full", Eric B and Rakim, had earned themselves amazingly positive accolades, such as, some of the best hip hop artists, that definitely were able to make "the rhyme go on". Then, with their 2nd effort, they proved that they indeed were still no laughing matter, and that album, goes by the name of, "Follow the Leader", an ironic title, since Eric B and Rakim never followed any trends. This album, proved that they still had "Lyrics of Fury". Then, they made their immensely phenomenally spectacular 3rd album, that goes by the name of "Let the Rhythm Hit Em", which showed, that they were able to "make my day" with their music (that one might take you a while to figure out). Then they came out with this, which was amazing as well, and at least they ended on such a high note.
Rakim with his lyricism, he sneaks in your ear, like whispers, then explode (in a good way) like an atomic bomb. Him, lyrically, was FIRE, more fire than the Busta Rhymes album cover, more on fire than the Eminem song (I think you get my point). These things, are EXACTLY why he is the best emcee of all time. Not only that, but he has so many quotables, such as the ones I'm about to say.
"I'm the R the A to the K-I-M
If I wasn't, then why would I say I am" Tell me you haven't heard of that one.
"It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you"
Without a strong rhyme to step to"
I could go on, but then that would take up the whole review. This album, is much different than their others, developing a more jazzy feel, similar to that of Gang Starr, but different in sound. Now for the track by track review.
1. What's On Your Mind": A love song, that unfortunately isn't as good as the song on the previous album, Mahogany, but still classic. 5/5
2. Teach the Children: A song, that is pretty much self-explanatory, which talks about how we need better influences for our children. Classic. 5/5
3. Pass the Hand Grenade: Highly intelligent song about the military, the 1st song about the military on this album. Classic. 5/5
4. Casualties of War: Another highly intelligent song about the military, the 2nd one. Classic. 5/5
5. Rest Assured: Great Song, which has Rakim showing and proving his amazing lyricism. 4/5
6. The Punisher: Classic song, which is ANOTHER song showing how incredibly spectacular Rakim's lyricism is. 5/5
7. Relax With Pep: Great Song. 4/5
8. Keep the Beat: Great song. 4/5
9. What's Goin On": Another love song, classic. 5/5
10. Know the Ledge: Classic song, which has an amazing beat (as do all of the other songs on here). The beat for this song has been used in the song, "Ghost Is Back" by Ghostface Killah. 5/5
11. Don't Sweat the Technique: Classic title track, one of the best title tracks of all time. 5/5
12. Kick Along: Great song, but not the proper ending that it should have had, it should have ended with Don't Sweat the Technique. 4/5
Overall, I give this album, 4/5, 8/10, 84/100, and my grade for it is "B".
3 Best Songs:
1. Don't Sweat the Technique
2. Know the Ledge
3. Casualties of War
3 Weakest Songs:
1. Keep the Beat
2. Relaxin With Pep
3. Kick Along