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Today In Hip-Hop: EPMD Releases ‘Business As Usual’

On this day, December 15, in hip-hop history…


1990: After back to back successful albums with Strictly Business (1988) and Unfinished Business (1989), Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith bring their talents over to Def Jam as the results of being signed over from Fresh Record. Mastering their hardcore funk sample-heavy production style, the duo continues the quest to destroy sucker MCs by releasing Business As Usual in December 1990.

Business As Usual finds the Brentwood, Long Island duo continuing their forte of thick samples and quality braggadocious rhymes. We get the first introduction to future hip-hop superstar Redman on gritty, funk-filled street raps like “Hardcore” and “Brothers On My Jock.” “Funky Piano” shows off DJ Scratch’s scratching and cutting ability.

EPMD had a knack for storytelling and covered a crazy range of topics like money hungry women (“Gold Digger”), selling out for fame (“Give the People”), and attacking any MCs that think they’re soft (“Manslaughter).  They added the third installment to “Jane” with “Jane 3″ plus “Rap Is Outta Control” a freestyle over a boom bap, neck-snapping beat. One of the album’s most brilliant moments was “Rampage,”  which features features LL Cool J, and the three deliver bone-chilling bars.

Business As Usual continued EPMD’s streak of critically acclaimed albums, landing the Long Island duo their third consecutive gold record. Over two decades later, EPMD’s album was yet another project for one of hip-hop’s greatest rap group.

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