On this day, July 28, in hip-hop history…

Def Jam
Def Jam

1992: EPMD solidified their position as one of hip-hop’s traditional groups with the release of their fourth studio album, Business Never Personal on July 28, 1992.

Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith proved their commercial and artistic viability on Business Never Personal. 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 sound shined throughout the 11-track offering, which had plenty to keep fans head-bobbing. The duo addressed rappers who “sell their souls to gold” on “Crossover,” while the Long Island anthem “Boon Dox” still measures up even today. In other areas of the album, they teamed 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 to this day.

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 by the fall of 1992, its clear EPMD was at their best. More business as usual.

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