Posted on July 02 2017
Ready for another story? Fans of Eric B & Rakim will especially love this one. This time we are going to inspect the back cover of their classic ‘Paid in Full’ album, which is arguably the greatest photo in hip-hop, period. The street legends pictured are the originators of what hip-hop fashion is known to be today.
This collection of ultra-fly characters is comprised of the most infamous hustlers, rappers & gangsters of the mid-1980’s - meet the Paid in Full Posse or Supreme Team (Fort Greene, Brooklyn). You could say the whole ‘rapper’ image was inspired by these very hustlers who had more money & power at age 15 than most do their entire lives. Meet the posse:
Eric B. (in front, hands clasped): Was both a respected street guy & savvy businessman. Not much of a DJ though, so you could say he was the first Suge Knight or Puffy Daddy in the rap game. Was very well connected & feared by many.
Rakim (middle row, second from right): The OG lyrical wordsmith. Arguably the greatest & most influential rapper of all time, and you bet he was surrounded by some of the gooniest goons that have walked on this planet.
Kool G Rap (right of Rakim): Closely affiliated with the crew before he was famous. Was once chased out of New York by Eric B & the very goons in this picture after he revealed Large Professor (from Main Source) ghost-produced most of the beats on the Eric B & Rakim albums.
50 Cent (crouching in red hat): a 5’2” stickup kid weighing in at 120 pounds who was known to rob you for as little as 50 cents. An infamous gunslinger and is the very man who inspired G-Unit’s 50 Cent to adopt his moniker. His stories include robbing LL Cool J’s chain at a White Castle, jacking Whodini & having a shoot-out with Jam Master Jay’s crew.
Rap (top left): He’s the guy in the FILA tracksuit & dookie chains on the top left. He’s brother to Supreme Majestic, the leader of the crew.
Killer Ben (top in green): The guy on the top right in green was a feared killer & stickup kid. Robbed Biggie & Faith Evans one night while they were having a romantic dinner. He also used a child as a human shield in a shoot-out & was sent to prison for it. He was murdered shortly after robbing another Bad Boy associate however it is unsure if the incidents are linked as Ben made many enemies due to his quick trigger finger.
Ant Live (crouching behind 50 Cent): Eric B.’s brother & was also known to get busy.
Supreme Magnetic (not pictured) - The leader of the notorious Paid in Full Posse. Stickup kid & was one of the biggest drug dealers in Brooklyn at the time. He allegedly tried stealing Jam Master Jay’s dookie chain & got punched in the face for trying.
Freddie Foxx (not pictured) - Legendary rapper & was meant to originally partner with Eric B however missed the meeting & Rakim took his spot. A goon of the highest order who himself quotes, “my precedence precedes me & I’m not even the livest one in the crew”.
A young Nas used to look up to these guys & the Paid in Full Posse cosigned him right back. The rappers were getting pressed up by alot of drug dealers & these goon provided them with both street credibility & protection from extortion. 30 years later & the influence of these larger-than-life personalities still influence hip-hop. There’s no doubt that you too have been influenced in some way by these legendary originators. Follow Inverse Culture for more hip-hop stories, street fashion & more.