March 27, 2015

EPMD - Strictly Business (1988)


Rakim taught people how to rap, Boogie Down gave the attitude, Run-D.M.C. brought the style, and EPMD put it all together. Erick and Parrish might not be as on the ball as Rakim when rapping, but they weren't trying to be. Flows were less calculated and more limber than the R and all their words slur together and it's awesome because they really don't give a shit. EPMD made the motto of 90s East coast hardcore to bring it raw and cool and don't hurt anybody if you don't have to, but if you do, make it count. These guys are just as well known for their beats as their distinctive rapping. They introduced new samples and turned the aggressive boom-baps of Whodini, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy into a smoother ride to fit their mindset. DJ Premier, Guru, Large Professor, Nas, Pete Rock, and Showbiz were all influenced by EPMD in mentality and beats, and if you listen carefully enough, you'll hear that their flows and rhyme scheme isn't so different from Snoop's. So yeah Strictly Business is a massively important album for New York rap and you can't really say you know shit about the scene without listening to this.

Sample

Strictly Business