On this day in music history: July 7, 1987 – “Paid In Full”, the debut album by Eric B. & Rakim is released. Produced by Eric B. & Rakim, it is recorded at Marley Marl’s House Of Hits and Power Play Studios in New York City in Early 1986 and Mid 1987. Following the break out success of their debut single “Eric B. Is President”, released on New York independent label Zakia Records, Eric B. & Rakim are signed to Island Records subsidiary 4th & B’Way in early 1987. With the exception of “President”, the first album by the New York based DJ/Rap duo is recorded in only a weeks worth of studio time. Upon its release, it both firmly establishes Eric B. & Rakim and set a new high water mark for rap music as an art form, both lyrically and production wise. Anchored by Rakim’s (aka William Griffin) unique vocal delivery and gift for intricate lyrical metaphors along with the production, breaks new ground within the genre, going on to inspire and influence generations of rappers and producers who follow them. The album is spin off five singles including “Eric B. Is President”, “I Know You Got Soul” and the title track. The albums iconic cover artwork features a photo of the duo wearing custom made “Gucci” garments from famed fashion designer Dapper Dan’s Harlem boutique, which become an enduring images in Hip Hop culture. In 2003, a double CD Deluxe Edition of the album is released featuring a remastered disc of the original album, with the second CD containing the original US and UK 12" single remixes and dub versions, including the “Seven Minutes Of Madness” remix of the title track by UK DJ/remixers Coldcut. In and out of print since its original release, the vinyl LP is reissued as an exclusive limited edition pressing, through retailer and online site Turntable Lab in 2017. Limited to only 500 copies, the LP is pressed on “money green” colored vinyl, with an OBI strip displayed on the outer sleeve detailing the special release. It is also scheduled to be reissued on vinyl as part of a box set on July 13, 2018, featuring all four of the duos’ albums, pressed on double vinyl. “Paid In Full” peaks at number eight on the Billboard R&B album chart, number fifty eight on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.