For anyone in tune with hip-hop and it's storied history, Eric B. and Rakim are rap legends, a duo whose influence on the culture is still easily heard to this very day.
Even those of us who didn’t come up listening to Paid In Full or Follow The Leader are well aware of Rakim’s gift of flow to the game, so when the verified Eric B. and Rakim Twitter account hinted at a reunion that has been 24 years in the making, people justifiably lost their minds.
While the initial announcement was pretty straightforward, things quickly became clouded in confusion and speculation. To put it simply, this reunion has already turned into a shitshow.
For starters, after the initial announcement of a reunion of some sort, the Eric B. & Rakim Twitter account fired off a tweet asking fans where they should kick off “this new tour.” Claims of a reunion tour were bolstered by a Rolling Stone article that read almost like a press release, complete with statements from Eric B.’s rep, “Uncle Louie."
Despite the info being laid out pretty clearly in the Rolling Stone article, tweets from both artists have been rather cryptic regarding dates, or any other details for that matter.
Then Quasimoto came into the picture, and everything came crashing down.
For the uninitiated, Quasimoto is the animated, helium-voiced alter ego of iconic LA producer Madlib. Lord Quas is known for talking shit, smoking cigarettes and, interestingly enough, inserting himself into iconic hip-hop album covers. That will come into play in just a second.
Though Quasimoto has been photoshopped into plenty of album covers over the years for shits and giggles, his recent appearance on Eric B. & Rakim’s Follow The Leader cover, shared on Quasimoto’s Instagram, came with a caption that added napalm to the fire of speculation surrounding the duo’s return to music.
Fans and blogs alike immediately began reporting that not only was a new Eric B. & Rakim album and a tour on the way, but that Quasimoto would somehow be involved. Some reported he was handling production duties, some that he had somehow finagled an honorary induction into the group, and others just lost their shit.
Here’s where things get really confusing. Yesterday (October 25), after the Instagram post, Mass Appealreported that Quasimoto had announced an album with Eric B. and Rakim, which was 2016 hip-hop journalism at its finest considering the vague nature of Quas’ announcement. The post was later amended, however, with a statement from Rakim’s manager stating that not only was the album story “completely false,” but that furthermore, any talks of a reunion were “premature, exaggerated and unauthorized.”
So, just to recap: Eric B. and Rakim vaguely announced a tour on Twitter, Eric B.’s representative “officially” spilled the beans to Rolling Stone,Quasimoto vaguely announced some sort of involvement in the reunion and, finally, Rakim’s manager seemingly put the kibosh on everything.
Since the Quasimoto fiasco, several blogs have taken to interpreting the Instagram post as an announcement of Quasimoto’s return, which just happened to cleverly cash-in on the Eric B. & Rakim buzz. As of this morning (October 26), XXL reported that in regards to a possible new album/tour from Quas it, “turns out this was just a joke, folks.”
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, and Quasimoto fuckery aside, days after a seemingly official announcement of a reunion tour (as well as album reissues) from Eric B.’s representative, Rakim’s manager stepped in to say, “hold the phone," calling into question everything that had been announced previously. Of course, this may just be an artist’s manager being diplomatically coy for legal reasons. It could also be just to cause confusion—which if is the case, the desired effect has certainly been achieved.
At this point in time, without an official list of dates released or even congruent statements from both artists’ representatives, nothing is certain and life is a lie. Let's hope time proves otherwise.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.