Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Showbiz & A.G. - Runaway Slave LP


Island / UMe (2018, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for 25+ years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

When this Showbiz & A.G. album came out back in 1992, I never heard it.  I'm not sure if it didn't get enough support from Yo MTV Raps or if I just zoned out for some reason.  I certainly knew the name Showbiz & A.G. from shoutouts on other albums and in the thank you notes of all of the liner notes I used to pour through looking for new groups to listen to.  For whatever reason, these guys slipped through the cracks and it was only very recently that I listened to them first time.

What I can say conclusively is that I would have absolutely loved Showbiz & A.G. in 1992.  In 2020, I think they're pretty great as well.  They have a really welcoming familiar vibe to their music.  It fits in with the sort of hip hop that I like to listen to, but still manages to stay very unique.  If there's an act I think would be a solid comparison, it would be to Black Sheep, and that's not just because Dres from Black Sheep guests on "Bounce Ta This.".  While Showbiz & A.G. don't have a smash hit on their hands like "The Choice Is Yours," the album as a whole is more consistent and there are more highs.

While I typically have been using Wednesdays as an opportunity to write about records I've been listening to twenty five plus years, I've also been checking out some other records from the era that I may have missed the first time around.  Runaway Slave is one of the best of these that I've heard and if anyone else didn't catch these guys the first time around, this is definitely an album worth revisiting.

Showbiz & A.G. - Runaway Slave (Youtube full album playlist):

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