Behind the Transition: You Can Get a Smack For This.

A few weeks back we took a look at a Leo Sayer “hit” which became a popular transition song at many of our shows. This week, we are going to go back to our roots. Well at least my, and possibly Tim’s, roots.

Eric Barrier and William Griffin, better known as Eric B. & Rakim, released one of the most influential and noteworthy hip-hop records in 1987, “Paid in Full.” It was, as they say, tight. I had it on cassette which makes me better than you. This record contained 4 hit singles, “Paid In Full”, “Eric B. Is President”, “I Know You Got Soul”, and “I Ain’t No Joke.”

Two-plus years ago when making a cd for a show, I thought it would be “dope” to throw “I Ain’t No Joke” on a comedy cd as, well, a joke. So, I did. And goddamn that beat, cause it made me “ca ca clap” to it.

No interruptions ’til the mic is broke
When I’m gone… then you can joke!
Cause everything is real on a serious tip
Keep playin, and I get furious quick
And I’ll take you for a walk through hell
Feed your dome — then watch your eyeballs swell

For real. Eric B. and Rakim still to this day remain as one of my favorite duos (see also: Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth, Stan and Deeve, Mork and Mindy, Phenomomom, Joe and Anna, Barrett and Goldman, and Black and White cookie), with Rakim taking the nod as the ultimate emcee.

It was a joke to play ‘Ain’t No Joke,’ but now it’s adrenaline, a song to bob your head to, and a shout-out to the man who nominate his DJ for president. That ain’t no joke.

.el sway


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