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While this fourth and final album by Eric B. & Rakim signified an end to their collaborative studio work, it largely remains an unheralded final chapter in their maturation as a unit. Released in the midst of the first Iraq war, Don’t Sweat The Technique includes subject matter that, for the first time, directly addressed current political matters—“Casualties of War” speaks to America’s involvement in the Gulf War of the ‘90s, mentioning Rakim’s Muslim faith as well as the impact of PTSD. In the meantime, Eric B.’s production on “New Groove” was one of the most well received beats he ever made.
By now, their previous releases were celebrated as important benchmarks in rap history and they were now, more than ever, exposed to the mainstream. “What’s On Your Mind” was even featured in the hit film House Party 2. “Know The Ledge,” on the other hand, was featured in the Tupac classic, Juice. Despite the duo achieving mainstream recognition and major respect from peers, the album did not chart as well as their previous releases nor was it deemed super consequential.
Yet Don’t Sweat The Technique stands as a perfect bookend to the duo’s series of projects, with critics praising Eric B.’s expanded production aesthetic and Rakim further cementing his position as the ‘God MC.’
A1 What’s on Your Mind A2 Teach the Children A3 Pass the Hand Grenade B1 Casualties of War B2 Rest Assured B3 The Punisher C1 Relax with Pep C2 Keep the Beat C3 What’s Going On? D1 Know the Ledge D2 Don’t Sweat the Technique D3 Kick Along