In an alternate hip hop universe, instead of having the duo who delivered us masterpieces like Paid in Full, Follow the Leader and Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em, it could have been a scenario where Eric B. teamed up with Freddie Foxxx aka Bumpy Knuckles instead.
In an interview with AllHipHop about the making of the classic Paid in Full, Eric B. explained how he set off to find Freddie Foxxx but ended up linking with Rakim instead.
Let me give you how the whole thing started. When I went to Long Island I met a guy named Alvin Toney. Alvin took me around and I was working for WBLS at the time. I was their mobile DJ and I used to play at all their mobile events. I met Alvin all the way in Wyandanch Long Island, and he’s like ‘we got MCs out here’ and this and that, ‘I got my man Freddie Foxx.’ We went to Freddie Foxx’s house and he wasnt home. He was like ‘I got another dude, he nice too! He has a totally different style than Foxx; he got an aggressive style. This dude got a smooth laid back style.’ So Alvin takes me to Rakim’s house and we start talking.Class Of ’88: Paid In Full | AllHipHop
After meeting Rakim, the pair started working on music together – the first track they recorded together (with the help of Marley Marl and MC Shan) was “My Melody,” the street b-side to their single “Eric B. Is President” which was designed for the clubs.
Rakim talked about the making of “My Melody” in an interview for Brian Coleman’s book, Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists.
That was the first song we ever made. We did that one and Marley Marl made it sound like it was supposed to sound. He played a big role in that record. I always used to rhyme off “Standing On The Top” so we used that. We replayed it on keyboard, Marley did a lot of scratching, Eric did some scratching, too. MC Shan helped engineer it, when we finished the mix at the crib. After Marley’s help on that first single we took it and ran with it.Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists | Brian Coleman