Eric B is President

ERIC B IS PRESIDENT – SONGS THAT CHANGED OUR LIVES

It was 1986 and I had just heard this classic for the first time. Now I was an avid record collector and DJ at the time but I had never before or again been so compelled by a song that I bought 6 copies.

I knew it the moment I heard it that this was a game changer. Released on Zakia with My Melody as a B side and what a B side, this record was going to change a generation. Rakim on the mic with some of the greatest rap lines ever “Thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me” and “If he bleed he won’t need no band-aid to fix” and Eric B on the mix, this was a song that for sure changed my life and I am sure many others too.

[Verse 1]
I came in the door, I said it before
I never let the mic magnetize me no more
But it’s biting me, fighting me, inviting me to rhyme
I can’t hold it back, I’m looking for the line
Taking off my coat, clearing my throat
The rhyme will be kicking until I hit my last note
My mind remains refined, all kind of ideas
Self-esteem makes it seem like a thought took years to build
But still say a rhyme after the next one
Prepared, never scared, I’ll just bless one
And you know that I’m the soloist
So Eric B make ’em clap to this
[Verse 2]
I don’t bug out or chill or be acting ill
No tricks in ’86, it’s time to build
Eric be easy on the cut, no mistakes allowed
Cause to me, MC means move the crowd
I made it easy to dance to this
But can you detect what’s coming next from the flex of the wrist?
Say indeed and I’ll proceed ’cause my man made a mix
If he bleed he won’t need no band-aid to fix
His fingertips sew a rhyme until there’s no rhymes left
I hurry up because the cut will make ’em bleed to death
But he’s kicking it cause it ain’t no half stepping
The party is live, the rhyme can’t be kept in-
Side, it needs erupting just like a volcano
It ain’t the everyday style or the same old rhyme
Cause I’m better than the rest of them
Eric B is on the cut and my name is Rakim
[Verse 3]
Go get a girl and get soft and warm
Don’t get excited, you’ve been invited to a quiet storm
But now it’s out of hand cause you told me you hate me
And then you ask what have I done lately
First you said all you want is love and affection
Let me be your angel and I’ll be your protection
Take you out, buy you all kinds of things
I must have got you too hot and burned off your wings
You caught an attitude, you need food to eat up
I’m scheming like I’m dreaming on a couch with my feet up
You scream I’m lazy, you must be crazy
Thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me

“Eric B. Is President” is the debut single released by hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. The bassline is an interpolation of Fonda Rae’s “Over Like a Fat Rat”. Marley Marl is often credited with handling production duties for the song, but Eric B. has disputed this in recent interviews. Said Eric B.:
“I took Fonda Rea’s “Over Like A Fat Rat” and said ‘This is the bass line I’m going to use for this record.’ Rakim spit the beer all over the wall and thought it was the funniest shit in the world. I told Rakim, just like you laughing now you going to be laughing all the way to the bank and be a millionaire one day because of this record.”

As far as the production controversy, Eric B. told Allhiphop.com, “I took the records to Marley Marl’s house in Queensbridge and paid Marley Marl to be the engineer. Marley got paid. That’s why he’s not a producer, that’s why he is not getting publishing. I brought the music. I just couldn’t work the equipment because that’s not what I did…”

“Funky President” by James Brown
“Impeach the President” (snare) by The Honey Drippers
“The Champ” by The Mohawks
“Long Red” (drums, vocals) by Mountain
“Over Like a Fat Rat” by Fonda Rae (replayed bassline)