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Baker's Dozen

Corrupting Sonic DNA: Moby's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , September 24th, 2013 08:18

Moby talks Luke Turner through his formative musical influences, from Nick Drake and OMD to the sound of New York via Suicide, Silver Apples, Eric B & Rakim and Public Enemy


Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full
So I'm mentioning New York nightlife. I'd been born in New York, but I'd been brought up in the suburbs, and I loved New York, I was obsessed with everything pertaining to the New York art scene, the New York music scene, and I would hide in the bathroom in the train that went in and out of New York from my town, so I wouldn't have to buy a ticket. I would go into New York and walk around and look at record stores, clothing stores and nightclubs, so I was exposed to a lot of music that I wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to, like early hip hop.

Hip hop, up until Eric B & Rakim, had been very drum machine based, drum machines with synth basslines. Then they rolled up with this song called 'Eric B Is President' which was sample-based. The first time I remember thinking, 'wow this sounds so different from all those other hip hop songs'. Rakim I think is still the most powerful MC of all time. Paid In Full I think is still really the first cohesive hip hop album. It helps that it has four or five huge New York hit singles on it. Paid In Full came out, and Public Enemy's Nation Of Millions came out, and suddenly people realised that hip hop could be a genre that worked on albums and not just tracks.

At the time, it was impossible to go out in New York and not hear this record. Every car that drove by, ever nightclub, restaurant, shop, something off Paid In Full was playing at every second of every hour of every day. That and Public Enemy, you just couldn't get away from these records, and it helped that they were amazing records, not ubiquitous and terrible.