By Rob Markman
Rick Ross released his fifth album God Forgives, I Don’t on Tuesday (July 31) and when he stopped by this week’s episode of “RapFix Live” Sway topped off his celebration with a surprise visit from Eric B.
On his latest LP the Maybach Music CEO pays homage Eric B., on the track “Ten Jesus Pieces.” 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 LPGod 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 ourHip-Hop Music Preview. “It’s like a high, it’s like you chasing that high and I gotta deliver that.”