In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.
That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.
It was a new day in hip-hop.