Business as Usual

EPMD talks tough — or, more precisely, raps tough. On the heels of their gold-selling successes — 1988’s Strictly Business and 1989’s Unfinished Business — this third album, Business as Usual, kicks off with ”I’m Mad,” a vicious rant chronicling the group’s not-so- amicable divorce from their former record company. Refusing to turn down the heat, EPMD, which stands for ”Erick (Sermon) and Parrish (Smith) Making Dollars,” takes us on tour through a rough-and-tumble world full of unworthy rap competitors, uneasy romance, and ”pieces of steel” — the guns that serve as metaphors for the power of their lyrics. Their rather limited range of topics may not thrill you — EPMD could make a very clever soundtrack for any James Bond movie — but their bass-heavy funky beats will. In a time when millions of record buyers think of M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice — artists who focus more on dance steps than on rhymes and beats — as typical rappers, EPMD is a welcome relief. A

Business as Usual
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