Eric B & Rakim ‘Follow the Leader’ 30th Anniversary

Release date: 26th July 1988

Label: Uni

Producers: Eric B & Rakim

Profile (courtesy of Wikipedia):

“Follow the Leader is the second studio album by American hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. Following their debut album Paid in Full (1987), Eric B. & Rakim left 4th & B’way Records and signed with Uni Records, a subsidiary label of major label MCA Records. They recorded Follow the Leader at Power Play Studios in New York City. The duo produced, composed, and arranged the album with additional contributions from Rakim’s brother Stevie Blass Griffin, who contributed with various instruments. Eric B. & Rakim worked with audio engineers Carlton Batts and Patrick Adams on the album. In a similar manner to their first album, a “ghost producer” was brought in for two songs. In a 2007 interview with, The 45 King said he produced both “Microphone Fiend” and “The R”. “Microphone Fiend” was originally made for Fab 5 Freddy, until 45 King gave it over to Eric B., the group’s “DJ”.

Follow the Leader peaked at number 22 on the U.S. Billboard Top Pop Albums and at number seven on Billboard’s Top Black Albums chart. It achieved higher charting than Eric B. & Rakim’s debut album and serves as their best-charting album in the United States. The album produced four singles, “Follow the Leader”, “Microphone Fiend”, “The R”, and “Lyrics of Fury”. “Follow the Leader” peaked at number 16 on the Hot Black Singles, at number 11 on the Hot Dance/Disco, and at number five on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. “The R” reached number 79 on the Hot Black Singles, number 28 on the Hot Dance/Disco, number 41 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales, and number 14 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. On September 27, 1988, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments in excess of 500,000 copies in the United States.

Additional info:

- The album comes in at #8 on Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums of 1988.

- The single ‘Microphone Fiend’ comes in at #16 on Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles of 1988.

- The track ‘Microphone Fiend’ appears on our Classic Material 1988 mixtape.

- The track ‘Microphone Fiend’ appears on our 1988 Rap Megamix.

- Listen to samples used in the making of the album on WhoSampled.

Listen: Youtube / Spotify

Purchase: Discogs

Classic Material