(AllHipHop News) On July 26, a Jazz version of Eric B. & Rakim‘s classic sophomore album, Follow The Leader, was released. Producer Jonathan Hay spearheaded the effort with contributions from Benny Reid, Mani Ajami, Mike Smith, Mike Baker, and Atlas Jenkins.
While the original Follow The Leader never led a Billboard chart when it came out in 1988, Hay’s revamped LP topped Billboard’s Jazz Album chart for four nonconsecutive weeks. The publication spoke with Eric B. & Rakim to talk about the success of the new collection.
“I couldn't have done a better job myself and I created the original album [laughs]. It's a great body of work, and all the guys should be so proud of themselves. The simple way to put it is that life imitates art, and art imitates life, and it's all coming around full circle,” said Eric B.
Rakim added, “I'm having a great moment being able to look back at over three decades in Hip Hop and count all the blessings that continue to come from the music. Going on tour with Eric, putting down my thoughts and memories on the pages of a book and hearing our music faithfully but cosmically re-arranged in that jazz style... and then have that shoot to No. 1? You got to take a minute, step back and take it all in.”