Strictly Business (25th Anniversary Edition) (CD)


EPMD

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Amoeba Review

BillyJam 05/26/2014

The debut album from New York hip-hop emcee/production power duo of Erick Sermon and Parish Smith (aka PMD), EPMD's name stood for "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars." Although only ten songs in length the hip-hop styles displayed on Strictly Business - cool laid back rhymes over smooth funky beats that sampled an infectious blend of funk, soul, and rock - remain influential to this day and personify the creme de la creme of hip-hop's much celebrated "golden age" - something that EPMD kept going on their second album, Unfinished Business, the following year, as well as on later releases (all in their Business series). Unlike albums of today which tend to be smothered in guest emcees and producers, with the exception of DJ K La Boss (who added his turntablist skills to the album track that bore his name), Strictly Business was purely the talents of Erick and Parish who both rapped in a similar almost lazy-sounding, rolling, lyrical flow and also shared production credits. This flawless release spawned four singles, including the title track, the hip-house "I'm Housin," and the funky head-nodding "It's My Thing," and "You Gots To Chill." The latter song grooved along to a sick sample of Zapp's "More Bounce To The Ounce" coupled with a sample of Kool & The Gang's "Jungle Boogie," plus some well utilized Vocoder effects. Meanwhile the song/single "Strictly Business," with its sample of Eric Clapton's "I Shot The Sheriff" won over many non-rap fans at the time, as did their sampling of the Steve Miller Band on three different album tracks. Remember that when this sample heavy album dropped in 1988 it was in the pre Biz Markie vs. Gilbert O'Sullivan landmark sampling law case, a time when hip-hop artists could freely sample other peoples' music with no strings attached. If you listen to any amount of hip-hop in the two plus decades since Strictly Business dropped you will repeatedly hear lyrics off this album being paraphrased or reworked or scratched-in the later hip-hop songs - all proof of how influential and important this five-star hip-hop release was. 



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Strictly Business
EPMD 04:47
2.
I'm Housin'
EPMD 04:01
3.
Let the Funk Flow
EPMD 04:16
4.
You Gots to Chill
EPMD 04:26
5.
It's My Thang
EPMD 05:45
6.
You're a Customer
EPMD 05:28
7.
The Steve Martin
EPMD 04:44
8.
Get off the Bandwagon
EPMD 04:25
9.
D.J. K la Boss
EPMD 04:31
10.
Jane
EPMD 02:59
11.
I'm Housin' (U.K. Mix)
EPMD
12.
You Gots To Chill (Dub Version)
EPMD
13.
You Gots To Chill (Percapella)
EPMD
14.
You're a Customer (Dub Version)
EPMD
15.
It's My Thing (Dub Version)
EPMD

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