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Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

“On Writing” for the Hip-Hop Culture: Rakim’s “Sweat the Technique” Reviewed

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.