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One of the most influential hip-hop acts of the 80s, Eric B. & Rakim defined the sound of hardcore hip-hop when they debuted with Paid in Full in 1986. Celebrated as one of the top MCs of all time, Rakim hypnotized fans with his monotone delivery and complex lyrics ("Eric B. for President") inspired by the lessons of the Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths-an offshoot of the Nation of Islam. Meanwhile DJ/Producer Eric B. created hard knocking beats by layering James Brown samples ("I Know You Got Soul") with obscure sounds ("My Melody"). Paid in Full eventually went gold and spawned several hip-hop classics, including "I Ain't No Joke" and "Move the Crowd."