Monday, October 6, 2014

Revisiting Show & A.G.'s "Goodfellas"






The two songs above is what initially introduced me to Showbiz & A.G. back in 1992. The "Party Groove" instrumental has always been a favorite of mine, and when I bump it today, it takes me back to 92, recalling a time when DJ Drake at Magic 99, the popular radio station in my area back in the day, would play it often. That same year, they also dropped the "Soul Clap" EP and their debut album "Runaway Slave", and from there, they became members of the tight D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates crew), a talented lineup which also consisted of Diamond D, Buckwild, Lord Finesse, Big L, O.C.and Fat Joe. So with all of this being said, it brings up to Show & A.G.'s sophomore album, "Goodfellas".


Release date: May 30, 1995 (Show makes no appearances on this album, only serving behind the boards along with A.G., who assumes the lyrical role throughout.)




1. Never Than Less Ill 
Produced By Show & A.G.

A brief, but DOPE opener to set things off, with a dope beat and tight lyrics by A.G. to match.
*4 out of 5*




2. You Know Now
Featuring Big Cathy
Produced By Show & A.G.

"If you didn't know before, guess you know now/It's Show and A.G. and this is how it's goin' down"


Yes indeed. That simple yet good hook tells you all you need to know about this one, another dope song. It's also noticeable for the darker sound on the production end, which quite a few East Coast artists were experimenting with at the time.
*4 out of 5*


3. Check It Out
Featuring Party Arty
Produced By Show & A.G.

"It's time to hit ya, let the melody split ya dome/Poems I'm deadly, holmes betta get the picture" -A.G.

"I've had it, time to get bruised and battered/I'm like Erving or Shaq, cause I'm great wit' that black magic" -A.G.


This follows in the same steps as "You Know Now", including an amped hook by Party Arty, who we'll hear again on this album.
*4 out of 5*


4. Add On
Featuring Lord Finesse and D-Flow
Produced By Buckwild

"I bring the noise like static, I cause havoc/When I grab the mic, I pack a party like traffic/You know my style, I got the hip sound/I should be a construction worker, the way I be tearin' shit down!" -Lord Finesse

"I'm gifted, my rhyme is wicked/When it comes to knowledge, I got jewels like the Diamond District" -Lord Finesse


D-Flow and A.G. work Buckwild's "jeep beat" nicely, but man Lord Finesse kills this one, as evident by some of the lines above. Dope stuff.
*5 out of 5*



5. Next Level (Nite Tyme Mix)
Produced By DJ Premier

"Showbiz! A.G!"


Talk about an underrated gem and I guarantee some still don't know it exists. I remember hearing this a couple of times in 95, dope at the time and still dope today. A.G. does more than take it to the next level on this one.
*5 out of 5*




6. Time For
Produced By Roc Raida

This was hard enough for both the ladies and the fellas.
*4 out of 5*


7. Got The Flava
Featuring D-Flow, Wali World, Party Arty, and Method Man
Produced By Show & A.G. Co-Produced By Dres (Black Sheep)

"Word, straight up and down, crab MCs get touched/I'll leave ya style cramped, my crew can't be touched" -D-Flow


All involved definitely come with the flava on this apply titled banger. Party Arty's hardcore, aggressive delivery complements the rest of the crew. And Meth??? Oh man, smh+lol. Meth comes in at the end, and you could TELL he was literally on the verge of ripping this one, but just as you start to get into his verse, that's the end of the song. I don't/didn't understand that at all, and while I don't want to do this, that right there causes a .5 point deduction on what would've been an automatic "5 out of 5".
*4.5 out of 5*




8. Neighbahood Sickness
Featuring Party Arty
Produced By Show & A.G.

This joint was calling for an Onyx appearance, that's how raw it is (All City probably could've worked on this one too). And again, Party Arty complements the seemingly easy going yet confident A.G.
*4 out of 5*


9. All Out
Produced By Show & A.G.

Oh man, a straight banger right here. Clocking in at 3:55, it feels like quite the fast paced song, but in any event, it still bangs, no question.
*5 out of 5*



10. Medicine
Produced By Show & A.G.

If you're sick and you want the "hip hop meds" for your sickness, this is one (of many) songs to help you.
*4 out of 5*


11. I'm Not The One
Produced By Show & A.G.

I guess even this album was entitled to a "cool/slow down period", even in a case where A.G. briefly comes with a story to tell.
*3 out of 5*


12. Got Ya Back
Featuring Wali World
Produced By Show & A.G.

Throughout the 90s, there was not a shortage of "I got ya back" type songs and this Wali World assisted one is just as good as the others with the same theme. 
*4 out of 5*


13. Next Level
Produced By Show & A.G.

This is not on the level of the classic Premo produced remix, but with it's soulful, laid back vibe, it's still a winner.
*4 out of 5*


14. You Want It
Featuring Diamond D and Party Arty
Produced By Show & A.G.

Another apply titled song closes the album, not on the highest of notes, but still a good one.
*4 out of 5*



First off, the title doesn't suggest anything having to do with the classic movie "Goodfellas" or anything "gangsta". In my view, it was simply a way of applying a term that is associated with gangsta activity but manifesting it in an East Coast hip hop state of mind, if that makes sense. All things considered, this is a slammin', slept on, 4 star album. The production is simply great, complete with a dark sound and vibe, and as I mentioned during the review, a few East Coast artists were experimenting with a darker sound in 95 (with Onyx immediately coming to mind). A.G. held things down on the mic as well, coming like a more aggressive version of another East Coast MC, Masta Ace, complete with the wordplay and confidence to back it up. I'm sure this had a lot to do with the promotion and the lack of staying power of a hit single (in this case the "Nyte Time" mix of "Next Level"), but this album unfortunately flew largely under the proverbial radar in 95, going virtually unnoticed in a year STACKED with quality albums. In addition, it's been out of print for the LONGEST time and I don't see anyone in a hurry to re-release it at this point. Overall, a VERY good album, one that I would strongly recommend. Mad props and thanks to Show, A.G, and all the guests involved.

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