We learned more from a three-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen

Critic Geoffrey Hines summed up the reaction to “two of Springsteen’s most famous, most controversial lines” in his book on Born in the U.S.A.:

The lines were autobiographical, but they were written after Springsteen had, in his late twenties, finally discovered the pleasure of books..So why, just as he was turning himself into an intellectual, would he write lines that smacked of anti-intellectualism?

Because he wasn’t saying that school should be less educational or has to be less educational than pop records; he was merely saying that it usually is…If a lyric can be true and controversial at the same time, it has already succeeded

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The poontang was dope and you know that I rocked her
But three days later, go see the doctor
Go See the Doctor by Kool Moe Dee

Do you need to see a doctor? Check here

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And you could treat me like a Buddha and bow your head Go See the Doctor by Kool Moe Dee

The not-so-subtle implications of what the girl would be doing while her head is bowed are left unsaid

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May I kick a little flow like this some more Alright by Boots 2

Boots pronounces the “May I” here with a nod towards Snoop’s famous line in “Gin and Juice”

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1 million in one week: gold streets Alright by Boots 2

This is not an idle boast. Beyonce’s self-titled album, for which Boots did much of the writing and production, did go platinum in a week

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Pump up the volume I Know You Got Soul by Rakim (Ft. Eric B) 1

These words would famously get sampled for M|A|R|R|S' giant 1987 hit “Pump Up the Volume”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLDRIpqOtEc&feature=kp

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Http://images.rapgenius.com/1713ce371650ee7598e9667fc6d09771.549x558x1.jpg Paid in Full Album Cover by Rakim (Ft. Eric B) 1

The Paid In Full Posse circa 1987, outside the then brand new Javits Center in Manhattan. Here’s how Rakim and Supreme Magnetic broke down this who’s who of elite NYC street dudes and rappers.

Top row (l-r):

  • Rap from Fort Greene (often mistaken for his brother, Supreme Magnetic)
  • probably Killer Ben from Fort Greene (but see below)
  • Rob Garcia from Long Island

Middle row (l-r):

  • Eric B
  • Rakim’s cousin Jason Riley
  • Rakim
  • Kool G Rap

Bottom row (l-r):

Neither Rakim or Supreme identified the guy in the green but we think it’s “Killer” Ben O'Garro, one of Supreme Magnetic’s crew. In Rakim’s song “Walk These Streets”, Maino recalls seeing Killer Ben on the back of Rakim’s album so by process of elimination (and assuming Maino knows what Ben looks like), Killer Ben must be the guy in the green.

Note that Kool G Rap was a newcomer in 1987. He hadn’t broken out with “Poison” yet and wouldn’t drop an album for another two years. Not many rap fans would have recognised him back then.

Also note that the flyest dudes in the photo are not the rappers — something they rectified for the Follow The Leader crew photo.

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Fish, which is my favorite dish Paid in Full by Rakim 1

This line has, in the years since 1987, become a meme:

It’s another reference to five percenters that sold fish sandwiches in NYC.

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Deejays What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

Wanda Dee bills herself as “Hip Hop’s FIRST female DJ,” though it’s arguable that Jazzy Joyce also lays claim to that title. The two famously battled at the 1983 New Music Seminar

(Jazzy Joyce, far l, with Nikki D, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Monie Love)

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Emcees What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

The first female rapper of major renown was Sha Rock of the Funky Four Plus One More (she was the “one more”). The group was the first hip-hop act to have a record deal, in 1979.

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