For over two decades the legendary hip hop duo, Eric B. & Rakim haven't as little as been seen together in public let alone perform on stage with one another. However, after 25 years in 2018 the iconic dj and mc duo announced their decision to hit the road again and get "Paid In Full". "The Technique Tour" is a month long tour that stops in major destinations across the east, west and southern regions of the United States. The press release states that the microphone fiend and presidential dj have once again "reunited to celebrate the Technique that transformed Hip Hop".
On Thursday April 26th fans poured into the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO wearing bucket hats, gold ropes and track suits in anticipation of the golden era duo. Once the opening act, notably west coast female mc, Yo-Yo performed and the wait was over the headlining dj and mc hit the stage in a "calm manner". The duo went straight into their tour's namesake and title track off of the their last studio album, "Don't Sweat The Technique".
After taking a few minutes to show appreciation to their fans the group moved into Paid In Full classics such as "I Know You Got Soul" as well as Rakim solo cuts from The 18th Letter. Later came a hypnotic performance of "In The Ghetto" and cuts from the group's sophomore release, Follow The Leader.
Once the show was underway it was apparent that Rakim would do the heavy lifting while the backbone, Eric B. would be in charge of cueing the next track and adding his minimalistic signature scratches. As the show progressed the tempo followed as the duo performed up-tempo cuts such as "Lyrics of Fury" followed up with possibly the most well executed song of the night, "Juice (Know The Ledge)".
The set ended with “Ra” rapping a few lyrics at a time while the crowd finished lines from the group's golden era anthem, "Paid In Full”. Despite moments of the group buying time in between songs, somewhat cringe worthy rambling and the continuous idle threat of the R "going out into the crowd" to crowd surf overall the hour and fifteen minute long show still managed to cover all bases of the legendary duo's catalog and legacy.
For many of the middle aged fans present having the opportunity to see Eric B. & Rakim perform together after 25 years was undeniably a bucket list experience. With that said, it’s possible that the duo relied more on the crowd’s affinity with rap nostalgia rather than their keenness to what was going down on stage throughout the night.
Ultimately in 2018 at a time when a lot of hip hop icons have fallen to health, scandal or simply just fallen off it’s undeniably a beautiful thing to see two legends who’ve contributed to the culture for over 30 years reunite with the same admiration they had in ’86.
"Eric B. is on the cut and my name is Rakim"