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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth operators operating correctly
This album is, undeniably, a classic. It is my favourite hip-hop album ever. If you're expecting something that sounds up to date, then you'll be disappointed, but who cares - this album was made in 1987 and sounds EXACTLY like it was made in that year. Rakim's lyrics and flow are second to none in my opinion, and from his opening line of "I ain't no joke, I used to let...
Published on 14 Nov 2008 by Oli

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic old skol hip hop...
Although it has not aged as well as many other bands of the period. A couple of stand out tracks, such as Paid in Full, but to be honest the rest of the album is well...ok.
Published 8 months ago by Raphowl


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth operators operating correctly, 14 Nov 2008
This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
This album is, undeniably, a classic. It is my favourite hip-hop album ever. If you're expecting something that sounds up to date, then you'll be disappointed, but who cares - this album was made in 1987 and sounds EXACTLY like it was made in that year. Rakim's lyrics and flow are second to none in my opinion, and from his opening line of "I ain't no joke, I used to let the mic smoke, now I slam it when it's done and make sure it's broke" he rhymes effortlessly through this entire album. In comparison he makes most other MCs sound like they are struggling (the only other MCs who have achieved considerable mainstream success who are up there with him in terms of effortless flow, in my opinion, are Nas and Gza). Eric B's beats - pretty minimal and tidy, are fully reminiscent of the 80's (especially "Move The Crowd"). The production is slick and classy. Together they make an unstoppable team. It's like a missing link between the synth-heavy electro of the early 80's and the sample-laden, jazz-funk beats of the late 80's/early 90's, plus with one of the greatest vocal performances in hip-hop laid on top. The album contains a number of classic cuts to name but a few - "I Ain't no Joke", "My Melody", "I Know You Got Soul", plus A Tribe Called Quest's favourite jam back in the day, "Eric B Is President". But every track is great, and the album works well as a whole. It is compulsory listening for anyone wanting to find out what hip-hop sounded like in the late 80's. Actually, it's compulsory listening for anyone who loves hip-hop.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Old school albums out., 29 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
Eric B and Rakims most famous album. And from this one of the most reconigsed and distinctive styles through Eric B's skills and Rakims tight lyrics. The result of this was on of the greatist songs in hip-hop today and has stood the test of time... that is the title track paid in full.
A must by albom.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rakim - Simply The Best, 5 Feb 2004
This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
I have madly followed hip hop since my early teens in the early 80s, meaning I got to enjoy the best of the best by the LL Cool Js, Kool Moe Dees, Grandmaster Flashs, Big Daddy Kanes and Kurtis Blows. Tell you what though, and this is real hard for me to admit considering I loved all of the above-named, no one could touch the lyrical master himself, Rakim. All of the guys named have their unique appeal, but for me, lyrically, Rakim Allah is simply the best.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe reissue of key rap album from 1987..., 22 Jan 2004
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Sad that people probably associate Rakim more with that awful Missy Elliott rip-off single produced by Dr Dre than the music he made with Eric B in the late 80s, early 90s. This deluxe reissue of debut album Paid in Full is a reminder of how signifianct they were- operating on a similar sonic template to acts like Mantronix, & Public Enemy, a sound that would be advanced on most notably by The Wu-Tang Clan and can still be found in the mininal sonic backdrop to tracks like Aaliyah's Try Again (Timbaland) & Kelis' Milkshake (The Neptunes). This and albums such as It Takes a Nation of Millions..., Paul's Boutique & Three Feet High & Rising showcased the greatest side of rap. One that would be diluted by the gangsta-directions of NWA's Straight Outta Compton- though albums by people like EL-P, Cannibal Ox, and even Genius/GZA are counter to the reduction that gave us things like Eminem and 50 Cent (neither of which have said anything I can relate to...yet).
Paid in Full sits well with music of the era, and made sense when listened to alongside such records as Voodoo Ray (A Guy Called Gerald), Code (Cabaret Voltaire), I (AR Kane), Isn't Anything (My Bloody Valentine) & Headhunter/Welcome to Paradise (Front 242). This was a great era, taking the 80s out of the slump it sank into around 1983...
The ten tracks of the original album form the first disc and listening to things like Extended Beats, it feels like a history lesson. Eric B is President still sounds amazing, metallic sounds that sound like the missing link between Depeche Mode's Something to Do & Missy's Get Ur Freak On occur just before Rakim begins to rap. The repetition is perfect ("make 'em clap to this") and ties in with records like Bassline (Mantronix) & Sensoria (Cabaret Voltaire). Wonderful samples & scratching, going back to the past and making something new- which is different to what retro rock bands do! I Know You Got Soul remains a classic, referring back to James Brown, but forwards also. It would be sampled on M/A/R/S's #1 Pump Up the Volume and have one line requoted by Stone Roses' Ian Brown- which to me is another example of the white musician getting the credit of a black musicians ("it's not where you're from, it's where you're at").
I Ain't No Joke is a great opener, you can see why Prince tried to sound like this on The Black Album; My Melody is even better, you wonder where the Sun-Ra/minimal stylings of Outkast's Atliens came from???? Move the Crowd is another perfect track, though everything comes back to the inescapable hit single Paid in Full, one of the all time great singles.
The second disc is a wonderful bonus, featuring the legendary 'Seven minutes of Madness'-take on Paid in Full by Coldcut. The other bonus cuts are of interest, but this disc is justified alone by the Coldcut remix, which was a revolutionary remix and the roots of the kind of thing Norman Cook's been doing for a decade or so.
Paid in Full is a great reissue and proof that rap is capable of making classic, timeless records as any other genre- despite the perception idiots like Kim Howell's have of the genre. Hope the other albums (Follow the Leader, Don't Sweat the Technique, Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em) get similar treatments in terms of reissue! Great stuff, the key word is 'own'.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small gripe, 30 April 2003
This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
Ok this album is outstanding. Rakims lyrics are still 100 times more relevant, even now, than 99% of todays popstars, sorry, 'rappers'. oh, and 'vic from Watford' id like to know what you were thinking when writing that when compared to todays music, gangstarr and rakim dont stand up. Just think about what you've said. Thats like saying Nelly is better than Rakim, or Ja Rule is better than Guru. NO! Your so wrong.
Any real hip hop fans know the score. This album is top notch. An absolute classic, even by 'todays standards'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sick!!, 20 July 2012
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This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
So old school it's untrue. Really took me back to the early days of hip hop. Every tack is worth listening to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 18 Mar 2004
This album makes it onto so many "best of" lists and after listening to it it's not hard to tell why.
Whilst some Eric B's beats may not be as revolutionarily fresh as they were back in 1987, they still hold up. The James Brown sampled "I Ain't Know Joke" and title track "Paid in Full" are still as funky as the day they were cut (and, to be fair, I like the synthy sounds of the old-school tracks like "Move The Crowd" and "Eric B is President" anyway).
The main reason to buy this album, though is Rakim's emcee-ing ability. This album shows why he is rightly regarded as the greatest MC of all-time.
This album is the 2-disc platinum edition, meaning you also get the classic Coldcut remix of the title track (one of the best remixes ever, imho).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hip Hop classic, 4 Feb 2009
By 
C. Spearing (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
If you have fond memories of this album from your youth and you don't have it. Buy it!

If you are young and have heard a track or two that you like. Buy it!

Absolute hip hop classic album. A must to own.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Classic old skol hip hop..., 22 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Paid In Full (MP3 Download)
Although it has not aged as well as many other bands of the period. A couple of stand out tracks, such as Paid in Full, but to be honest the rest of the album is well...ok.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamite, 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Paid In Full (Audio CD)
Had this on cassette when i was a youngster! Just rediscovered it,been playing it non stop,early hip hop does not get any better
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