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EPMD - Strictly Business

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Strictly Business

EPMD

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EPMD's blueprint for East Coast rap wasn't startlingly different from many others in rap's golden age, but the results were simply amazing, a killer blend of good groove and laid-back flow, plus a populist sense of sampling that had heads nodding from the first listen (and revealed tastes that, like Prince Paul's, tended toward AOR as much as classic soul and funk). A pair from Long Island, EPMD weren't real-life hardcore rappers -- it's hard to believe the same voice who talks of spraying a crowd on one track could be name-checking the Hardy Boys later on -- but their no-nonsense, monotoned delivery brooked no arguments. With their album debut, Strictly Business, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith really turned rapping on its head; instead of simple lyrics delivered with a hyped, theatrical tone, they dropped the dopest rhymes as though they spoke them all the time. Their debut single, "You Gots to Chill," was a perfect example of the EPMD revolution; two obvious samples, Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" and Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie," doing battle over a high-rolling beat, with the fluid, collaborative raps of Sermon and Smith tying everything together with a mastery that made it all seem deceptively simple. There was really only one theme at work here -- the brilliancy of EPMD, or the worthlessness of sucker MCs -- but every note of Strictly Business proved their claims.
© John Bush /TiVo

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Strictly Business

EPMD

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1
Strictly Business
00:04:45

Parrish Smith, ComposerLyricist - Erick Sermon, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Charlie Marotta, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, MainArtist - PMD, Producer

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records LLC

2
I'm Housin'
00:03:58

Parrish Smith, ComposerLyricist - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, ComposerLyricist - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

3
Let The Funk Flow
00:04:14

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

4
You Gots To Chill
00:04:21

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROGER TROUTMAN, Composer - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

5
It's My Thing
00:05:42

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

6
You're A Customer
00:05:22

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

7
The Steve Martin
00:04:36

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

8
Get Off The Bandwagon
00:04:23

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

9
D.J. K La Boss
00:04:31

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Herb Powers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

10
Jane
00:02:58

Parrish Smith, Composer - John Poppo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Sermon, Composer - Charlie Marotta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EPMD, Producer, MainArtist - Jim Foley, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Al Watts, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Priority Records LLC ℗ 1988 Priority Records, LLC

Album Description

EPMD's blueprint for East Coast rap wasn't startlingly different from many others in rap's golden age, but the results were simply amazing, a killer blend of good groove and laid-back flow, plus a populist sense of sampling that had heads nodding from the first listen (and revealed tastes that, like Prince Paul's, tended toward AOR as much as classic soul and funk). A pair from Long Island, EPMD weren't real-life hardcore rappers -- it's hard to believe the same voice who talks of spraying a crowd on one track could be name-checking the Hardy Boys later on -- but their no-nonsense, monotoned delivery brooked no arguments. With their album debut, Strictly Business, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith really turned rapping on its head; instead of simple lyrics delivered with a hyped, theatrical tone, they dropped the dopest rhymes as though they spoke them all the time. Their debut single, "You Gots to Chill," was a perfect example of the EPMD revolution; two obvious samples, Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" and Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie," doing battle over a high-rolling beat, with the fluid, collaborative raps of Sermon and Smith tying everything together with a mastery that made it all seem deceptively simple. There was really only one theme at work here -- the brilliancy of EPMD, or the worthlessness of sucker MCs -- but every note of Strictly Business proved their claims.
© John Bush /TiVo

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