Wednesday, May 20, 2020

EPMD - Business As Usual LP


Def Jam (2000, 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 twenty-five plus 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.

For me, EMPD's 1992 album, Business Never Personal, will always stand out as one of the best hip hop albums of all time.  It's always been my favorite by EPMD and was also the first record that I had ever owned of theirs.  As the years went by, I did eventually grab all of their first four records and am in the process of replacing CDs with the vinyl.

I grabbed this album off of Discogs a couple of months ago and while the condition isn't spotless, I did get it for a good price.  I'll probably need to upgrade it at some point. Perhaps as we get close to its thirtieth anniversary we'll get a reissue.  But for now, I'm happy to sit back and absorb the rhymes of Erick Sermon and Parish Smith.

Business as Usual features incredible production, maybe not quite as rough and ready as what's featured on Business Never Personal, but the beats still hit hard.  It's one of those albums that has a head nodding rhythm and Erick and Parish make the most of the atmosphere, handing the mic back and forth and putting down some of their trademark self aggrandizing lyrics.  Add in some guest spots from a young Redman and a not quite past-his-prime LL Cool J and you've got a pretty solid 1990s hip hop album.  Maybe not the cornerstone of a collection, but an album that deserves more accolades than I think it typically receives.

EPMD - Business As Usual (Youtube full album playlist):

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