On this day, July 28, in hip-hop history…
1992: EPMD solidify their position as one of hip-hop’s traditional groups with the release of their fourth studio album, Business Never Personal.
Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith proved their commercial and artistic viability on this album. Backed by funky beats, innovative nods to the Zapp/Roger Troutman catalogue, and their no-nonsense rhymes, EPMD stuck to pure hip-hop in every sense. Their trademark shined throughout the 11-track offering, which had plenty here to keep fans head-bobbing. The duo address rappers who “sell their souls to gold” on “Crossover,” while the Long Island anthem “Boon Box” still measures up even today. In other areas of the album, they team up with Das EFX for “Cummin’ At Cha,” which showcases four MCs going in over a sluggish beat. Last, but not least, the Hit Squad posse cut “Headbanger” gets the crowd moving every time they play it live.
Business Never Personal cemented itself as an undeniable hip-hop classic. It stands today as an example of how to make hip-hop accessible and hardcore at the same time. With the album certified gold in the fall of ’92, its clear EPMD was at their best. More business as usual.