Strictly Business (EPMD album)

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 2012, the album was ranked number 453 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[3]

Strictly Business
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 7, 1988
StudioNorth Shore Soundworks,
Island Media Studios
(West Babylon, New York)
GenreGolden age hip hop
EPMD chronology
Strictly Business
Unfinished Business
Singles from Strictly Business
  1. "It's My Thing"
    Released: 1987
  2. "I'm Housin"
    Released: 1988
  3. "You Gots to Chill"
    Released: April 30, 1988
  4. "Strictly Business"
    Released: September 10, 1988

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.[4]

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
Los Angeles Times    [6]
Mojo     [7]
The Philadelphia Inquirer    [9]
Record Mirror4/5[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [11]
The Source5/5[12]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[13]
The Village VoiceA−[14]

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] Strictly Business was 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.[15] Sounds judged it to be the 50th best album of the year,[16] while Spex ranked it as the 8th best.[17]

Retrospect edit

Years after its release, Strictly Business has continued to attract critical success. AllMusic called the album "simply amazing".[5] The Source assigned the album a five-mic rating, making it one of 43 albums to ever receive this rating.[18] 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.[citation needed] In 2003, the album was placed on Blender's 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die list[citation needed] and ranked number 459 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[citation needed] and was moved up to 453 in a 2012 revised list.[3] 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.[citation needed] Retrospective reviews by Spin (1995),[citation needed] the Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2002),[citation needed] Martin C. Strong (2004),[citation needed] and Sputnikmusic (2006)[21] 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. Strictly Business is now widely considered to be a classic release[22] and a seminal hip hop album.

Legacy edit

The Mario Winans, Enya, and P. Diddy song "I Don't Wanna Know" (2004) and its Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, and 21 Savage remake "Creepin'" (2022) both heavily incorporate the drum outro of the album track "You're a Customer" from Strictly Business. Another Diddy/Winans collaboration, "Through the Pain (She Told Me)" (2007), while not sampling it directly, features a similar drum beat to the "You're a Customer" outro.

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

Charts edit

Singles edit

Song Chart (1987)[26] Peak
"It's My Thing" UK Singles Chart 97
Song Chart (1988) Peak
"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
"I'm Housin'" UK Singles Chart 89

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "EPMD > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Coleman, Brian. Check The Technique: Liner Notes For Hip-Hop Junkies. New York: Villard/Random House, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Bush, John. "Strictly Business – EPMD". AllMusic. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Gold, Jonathan (September 11, 1988). "The World of Hard Rap". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  7. ^ Batey, Angus (May 2010). "EPMD: Strictly Business". Mojo. No. 198. London. p. 115.
  8. ^ Witter, Simon (August 27, 1988). "Top Billin'". NME. London. p. 34.
  9. ^ Tucker, Ken (July 21, 1988). "EPMD: Strictly Business (Fresh)". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  10. ^ Halasa, Malu (September 17, 1988). "EPMD: Strictly Business". Record Mirror. London. p. 32.
  11. ^ Ryan, Chris; Brackett, Nathan (2004). "EPMD". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 281. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ "EPMD: Strictly Business". The Source. No. 150. New York. March 2002.
  13. ^ Coker, Cheo (1995). "EPMD". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 130–131. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 30, 1988). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Face Lists". Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  16. ^ "Sounds Lists". Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  17. ^ "SPEX – Popular Music Best-Of-List – 1988". Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  18. ^ "The Source's 5 Mic Albums". Archived from the original on January 11, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  19. ^ "The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums + 100 Best Rap Singles". 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. ^ de Sylvia, Dave. "EPMD – Strictly Business Review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  22. ^ Bush, John. "EPMD > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  23. ^ "EPMD, TLP". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "EPMD, BLP". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  25. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1988". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  26. ^ "EPMD > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – EPMD – Strictly Business". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links edit

See also edit