Eric B. & Rakim

Eric B. & Rakim

Hip-hop trailblazers Eric B. and Rakim's first single, "Eric B. Is President" (#48, 1986), sparked early debate on the legality of unauthorized, uncredited sampling when James Brown sued to prevent the duo's use of a fragment of his music. It also established Brown's back catalog as a hip musical mining ground for a new generation of hip-hop programmers.

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

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