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The Dopest Photo In Hip-Hop: The Paid in Full Posse

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 Puff Daddy in the rap game. Was very well connected & feared by many.
 
Rakim (middle row, second from right): The OG lyrical wordsmith (listen to him on our hip-hop playlist titled Lyrical Masterpieces). 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 (top right) - 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”.
 
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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 goons 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.
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UPDATE: MAY 2018
Due to the immense popularity of this post, we have added a couple more resources for those who want to learn more about this mythical crew. Peep our list of recommended reading below.

Infamous Times - The Original 50 Cent

Learn more about Kelvin '50 Cent' Martin and the infamous hood tales he was party to in this dark documentary detailing the crack-cocaine epidemic and one its major players in the 80's.

Paid in Full

A definitive hip-hop classic, this film is a re-imagining of the street adventures of Alpo Martinez, Rich Porter and Azie. All of these players ran together in the same era, so it's a great watch for those fascinated by those times.

Paid In Full - Eric B. & Rakim (Vinyl)

The birth of lyricism in hip-hop starts right here. For the vinyl collector's out there, this album is a non-negotiable addition to your collection. P.S. Those custom fits they are wearing? Weaved by the master of Harlem, Dapper Dan. We explore his impact in The Evolution of Fashion in Hip-Hop post we previously did.

Follow The Leader - Eric. B & Rakim

While Paid in Full featured street legends from Fort Greene, the dynamic duo recruited Harlem kingpins Alpo, Fritz and friends for their follow-up album. For the uninitiated, Alpo was the very man who the film Paid in Full surrounds. 

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4 comments

  • JoJo: January 25, 2019

    In fact, hip hop culture was f*cked up from day one because of criminality. The “peace, unity, love & havin’ fun” was just an illusion. Poverty can’t co-exist with positive utopia. Sad …

  • Iron: December 15, 2018

    That’s A.J.In the Green Sweat Suit.Wyandanch

  • B roc: November 26, 2018

    hey I like the words but KILLER BEN IS NOT IN GREEN AND THATS NOT SUPREME MAGNETIC IN THE TOP RIGHT

  • Mr Rumble: October 19, 2018

    A lot of incorrect info here.

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