People talk about swagger today but back in ’88 Rakim was the very definition of the word. That year, when KRS-One, Chuck D, Big Daddy Kane, or Ra picked up a mic, we listened attentively. I think I saw the ‘Follow the Leader’ video on Yo! MTV Raps that summer and I’m not exaggerating when I say that my friends and I were frozen in place while watching it. The 1930ish Al Capone gangster concept with the tommy guns and big gold rope chains was totally unexpected. I may have even let my water ice melt in my hands because that song is effing great. His voice, delivery, flow, lyrics, and the music are perfectly in sync and demand your full attention. I don’t think it took me more than a few days to buy that album after seeing the video and we played that over and over and over on the boombox. If you haven’t heard this song (or album) by now, then get it right here and listen to it immediately. This is real hip-hop.