RAKIM - THE R: Those who know me know that I’m a somewhat average-skilled amateur DJ. Well, the inspiration for this piece came after a visit to a HipHop message board where aspiring Q-berts get together to swap stories, techniques and generally talk s—t.

Anyway, it was here that fellow bedroom DJ posted up a link to what has to be regarded as one of, if not the greatest HipHop remixes of all-time: Eric B and Rakim’s “Paid in full (coldcut remix)”. For those who don’t know, that is the version that features the “pump up the volume, pump up the volume” sequence at the beginning and the Indian woman singing during the chorus.

Well after listening to that track about 20 times and then poppin’ in the Eric B and Rakim greatest hits CD from the 18th Letter album, I had to do a Rakim piece.

The bottom section is based on a series of photos I shot at a concert out here in L.A. in 2002. And even though Rakim is the featured figure in this piece, I didn’t want to leave Eric B out of the mix, so I incorporated the covers from the duo’s legendary early years.