Friday, July 25, 2014

Hip Hop Nostalgia 101, Session 38: A 25 Year Retrospective, EPMD's "Unfinished Business" (1989)

After their slammin 1988 debut "Strictly Business", Erick and Parrish returned to the game with their appropriately titled second album, "Unfinished Business".


Release Date: July 25, 1989



All songs produced by EPMD


 1. So Wat Cha Sayin


Sample check #1

 Sample check #2


"One wrecks, the other destroys/And if you think you ready to mess, (kill the noise)!" -Erick

"Dropped the album Strictly Business and you thought we would fold/30 days later, the LP went Gold, so what you sayin" -Parrish


CLASSIC opener right here, and not only that, but the above line from Parrish just about sums this up with this quickness. It still bangs today and remains one of EPMD's most recognizable songs.
*Grade- A+




2. Total Kaos

Sample check
 
It would've been "total kaos" indeed whenever Erick and Parrish were on the mic, and this was one of several warning shots to the competition.
*Grade- B+




3. Get The Bozack

Sample check
 

B.T. Express' "Everything Good to You (Ain't Always Good for You)" was utilized in the most effective way possible for Erick and Parrish to dismiss any and all naysayers who thought they couldn't get the job done. Dope stuff right here.
*Grade- A




4. Jane II

Sample check


The "Jane" saga continues here. Part 2 finds Parrish in the midst of getting it on with Ms. Jane, but right when he seemingly is about to go into the climax, Erick jumps in, lol, stating the obvious "to be continued". Very good series thus far.
*Grade- B




5. Please Listen To My Demo

Sample check


This fast paced song talks about the struggles Erick and Parrish faced when trying to shop their demos to record companies. Trust me, it was MUCH harder to be heard and get your name out there back then as opposed to today. The struggle was indeed real and if you were serious about your craft, you definitely took the time and effort not only with the creation of your demo, but making sure you shopped it to every company possible. It's one of those things that defines an artists' work ethic.
*Grade- A





6. It's Time 2 Party

Sample check #1

Sample check #2

 
There was no shortage of these type of songs in the 80s, so to hear another one from Erick and Parrish was not unusual. This song, however, is more or less an instrumental with a few lines here and there.
*Grade- C




7. Who's Booty

Sample check #1

Sample check #2


Funkadelic ("Loose Booty") and The J.B.'s ("Same Beat") provided Erick and Parrish with some classic tracks, again effectively sampled and utilized for this dedication, of sorts, to the girls with the big butts, complete with a storytelling vibe as well!
*Grade- B




8. The Big Payback 

Sample check #1


Good song here, nothing more or less.
*Grade- B



9. Strictly Snappin' Necks

Strictly snappin' necks, and can't forget cashing large checks, which were two of the things Erick and Parrish were all about at this point (on full display here). This served almost as a reprise of "The Big Payback" if you ask me.
*Grade- B

10. Knick Knack Patty Wack
Featuring K-Solo

Sample check


This one was very notable for the debut of K-Solo and alongside Erick and Parrish, he steals the show with his verse, and probably was one of the first rappers to continue rapping as the song is ending.
*Grade- B+




11. You Had Too Much To Drink

Wow, this joint was about 4 minutes too long (apply titled oddly enough). Erick and Parrish had to have been going for laughs with this one. The entire flow of the song was right out of the Run-DMC playbook, which is not a knock by any means. The bottom line here is "don't drink and drive".
*Grade- C


12. It Wasn't Me, It Was The Fame

Sample check #1

Sample check #2


In a very fitting closer to the album, Erick and Parrish thumb their collective noses at those who would never give them the time of day, and when they did, it wasn't them, it was the fame that did it. This wouldn't be the last song in hip hop to cover this topic and EPMD's version is just as effective.
*Grade- B+



 


Well, compared to their 1988 debut "Strictly Business", this fell a little short, but make no mistake about it, this is still a very good album. The production was on point, including more creative sampling, and lyrically what you heard is what you got from Erick and Parrish. "Unfinished Business" would also mark their second Gold album, achieving that accolade on October 16, 1989. Heading into the 1990s, EPMD would continue their creative roll.


Final Grade- B+

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