Strictly Business (EPMD album)

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Strictly Business
StrictlyBusinessEPMD.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 7, 1988
July 1, 1991 (second pressing)
Recorded1987–1988
North Shore Soundworks
Island Media Studios
(West Babylon, New York)
GenreHip hop
Length45:22
LabelFresh/Sleeping Bag Records (1989 release)
Priority/EMI Records (1994 reissue)
ProducerEPMD
EPMD chronology
Strictly Business
(1988)
Unfinished Business
(1989)
Singles from Strictly Business
  1. "It's My Thing"
    Released: 1987
  2. "I'm Housin"
    Released: 1988
  3. "Strictly Business"
    Released: 1988
  4. "You Gots to Chill"
    Released: 1988

Strictly Business is the debut album by hip-hop duo EPMD. It was released on June 7, 1988, by Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records around the world and BCM Records in Germany. It peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard 200 soon after release,[1] yet it earned an RIAA gold album certification within four months of its release.[2] In addition, it has received much positive critical attention since its release. In 2003, the album was ranked number 459 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The album is known for its lighthearted party raps and funky sample-reliant production. The album has no guest emcees or producers except DJ K La Boss. The album is broken down track-by-track by the group in Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[6]
Mojo5/5 stars[7]
The Philadelphia Inquirer3/4 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[9]
The Source5/5[10]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[11]
The Village VoiceA−[12]

Initial[edit]

Strictly Business peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.[1] Of its four singles, three landed on the UK Singles Chart and two reached the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Although none of the singles reached the Billboard Hot 100, the album was able to go gold within four months of its release.[2] Initial reviews of the album were strong: Allmusic gave the album a five star rating calling the album "simply amazing".[13] The Source assigned the album a 5-mike rating making it one of 43 albums to ever receive this rating.[14] Robert Christgau also gave it an A- rating soon after its release.[15] Strictly Business was also featured on various "best of 1988" lists. The Face ranked it as the third best album of the year, and ranked its title track as the 25th best single of the year.[16] Sounds judged it to be the 50th best album of the year,[17] while Spex ranked it as the 8th best.[18]

Retrospect[edit]

Years after its release, Strictly Business has continued to attract critical success. In 1994, Pop selected it a complement to Eric B. & Rakim's Paid in Full on its list of The World's 100 Best Albums + 300 Complements. In 1998, The Source placed Strictly Business on its 100 Best Rap Albums list and included two of its singles on its 100 Best Rap Singles list.[19] In 1999, it was judged to be the 4th-best hip hop album of 1988 by ego trip.[20] In 2001, Dance de Lux ranked Strictly Business as the 11th-best hip hop record of all time.[21] In 2003, the album was placed on Blender's 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die list and ranked number 459 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[21] Additionally, the Rolling Stone Album Guide, which initially rated the album as three and a half stars out of five, awarded the album with a five-star rating in 2004.[21] Retrospective reviews by Spin (1995), the Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2002), Martin C. Strong (2004), and Sputnikmusic (2006) have respectively allotted the album a nine-out-of-10 rating, a four-star rating, a five-star rating and a seven-out-of-10 rating.[21][22] Strictly Business is now widely considered to be a classic release[23] and a seminal hip hop album.

Track listing[edit]

# Title Performer(s) Time
1 "Strictly Business" EPMD 4:47
2 "I'm Housin" EPMD 4:01
3 "Let the Funk Flow" EPMD 4:16
4 "You Gots to Chill" EPMD 4:26
5 "It's My Thing" EPMD 5:45
6 "You're a Customer" EPMD 5:28
7 "The Steve Martin" EPMD 4:44
8 "Get off the Bandwagon" EPMD 4:25
9 "D.J. K La Boss" DJ K La Boss (Scratches) 4:31
10 "Jane" EPMD 2:59

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Germany 1988 BCM Records Vinyl LP B.C. 33-2125-43
Germany 1988 BCM Records CD CD 076-555722
Germany 1988 BCM Records CD B.C. 50-2125-46
United Kingdom 1988 Sleeping Bag Records Vinyl LP SBUKLP 1
United States June 7, 1988 Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records Vinyl LP LPRE-6
United States June 7, 1988 Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records Cassette CSRE-6
United States June 7, 1988 Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records CD CDRE-6
United States July 1, 1991 Priority/EMI Records CD 0499 2 57135 2 7/P2-57135
United States July 1, 1991 Priority/EMI Records Cassette 0499 2 57135 4 1/P4-57135
Worldwide (Snoop Dogg-approved remastered Priority Records’ 25th-anniversary edition) February 23, 2010 Priority/EMI Records CD 50999 6 26869 2 1/P2-26869
Worldwide (25th-anniversary edition) September 3, 2013 Priority/UMe/Universal Records CD 374 986

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1988)[1] Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200 80
U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 1

Singles[edit]

Song Chart (1987)[24] Peak
position
"It's My Thing" UK Singles Chart 97
Song Chart (1988) Peak
position
"Strictly Business" U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 29
UK Singles Chart 90
"You Gots to Chill" U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 22
Song Chart (1989) Peak
position
"I'm Housin'" UK Singles Chart 89

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "EPMD > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Coleman, Brian. Check The Technique: Liner Notes For Hip-Hop Junkies. New York: Villard/Random House, 2007.
  4. ^ Bush, John. "Strictly Business – EPMD". AllMusic. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  6. ^ Gold, Jonathan (September 11, 1988). "The World of Hard Rap". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "EPMD: Strictly Business". Mojo. London: 115. [T]he raps are delivered with a casualness bordering on the slovenly, heightening an atmosphere that combines playfulness with menace.
  8. ^ Tucker, Ken (July 21, 1988). "EPMD: Strictly Business (Fresh)". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  9. ^ Ryan, Chris; Brackett, Nathan (2004). "EPMD". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 281. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ The Source. New York (150). March 2002.
  11. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 30, 1988). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Bush, John. "Strictly Business Review". Allmusic. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  14. ^ "The Source's 5 Mic Albums". ListofBests.com. Archived from the original on January 11, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  15. ^ Robert, Christgau. "EPMD Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  16. ^ "The Face Lists". RockListMusic.co.uk. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  17. ^ "Sounds Lists". RockListMusic.co.uk. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  18. ^ "SPEX – Popular Music Best-Of-List – 1988". Home.Rhein-Zeitung.de. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  19. ^ "The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums + 100 Best Rap Singles". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  20. ^ Sacha Jenkins, Elliot Wilson; et al. (1999). Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. St. Martin's Griffin/Macmillan USA. ISBN 0-312-24298-0.
  21. ^ a b c d "Acclaimed Music – Strictly Business". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on November 16, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  22. ^ de Sylvia, Dave. "EPMD – Strictly Business Review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  23. ^ Bush, John. "EPMD > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  24. ^ "EPMD > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2008.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]