Not only is Rick Ross the biggest boss in the game, but he may also hold the title for biggest fan. When Rozay gets to reminiscing about hip-hop’s old school, he speaks with admiration, always crediting those who paved the way for him. On his latest LP God Forgives, I Don’t, the Maybach Music CEO pays homage to one of his idols, Eric B., on “Ten Jesus Pieces.” And on Wednesday’s “RapFix Live,” Rozay was taken by surprise when the pioneering DJ paid him a visit.
At the request of host Sway Calloway, an unsuspecting Ross began to recite the lyrics, stumbling for a moment through the brand-new material. “I do this for my n—as facin’ hard times/ Can’t do this if you on the corner hustlin’ part-time/ Ten chains, Eric B.,” he spit, focusing on getting his words right, not noticing that the man he was rapping about had suddenly appeared before him.
The stoic MMG boss grinned ear-to-ear, his grizzly beard parting ways to reveal a pearly white smile. After he stood up to greet the man whom he admired as a youngster, Rozay paid homage. “From the music to the fashion to the way you carried yourself, it was always just Don status,” he told Eric B., who dropped his debut album Paid in Full alongside Rakim in 1987. “From my wardrobe today, all your LP covers still inspire what I do today. Paid in Full, that’s #1.”
In the late-1980s, it was pioneering groups like Run-DMC, N.W.A. and Eric B. and Rakim who would breathe new life into the music that so many critics labeled as a fad. Not only did they revolutionize the music, they each brought a unique fashion sense to the game. For Ra and his partner Eric B., it was the gold jewelry and customized leather jackets that they were most known.
We may be 25 years removed, but while he was recording his latest LP God Forgives, I Don’t, Rozay drew inspiration from rap’s early days. “I can work all night, until I get the feeling, you know the feeling you first had when you seen Eric B. and Rakim in those jackets and those chains,” he asked rhetorically when he sat down with MTV News for our Hip-Hop Music Preview . “It’s like a high, it’s like you chasing that high and I gotta deliver that.”
What’s your favorite Eric B. and Rakim Song? Let us know in the comments!