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Business Never Personal
Business Never Personal
Genres: Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
2007 vinyl LP repressing of this classic third album from the Rap duo. Originally released in 1992, Business Never Personal features 'Can't Hear Nothing But The Music', 'Who Killed Jane' and 'Nobody's Safe Chump'. Mercury.


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CD Details

All Artists: Epmd
Title: Business Never Personal
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Def Jam
Original Release Date: 1/1/1992
Re-Release Date: 7/26/1994
Genres: Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
Styles: East Coast, Gangsta & Hardcore, Old School, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Business Never Personal
UPCs: 074645284811, 074645284842, 602498268964, 731452351210, 731452351241, 731452351227


Album Description
2007 vinyl LP repressing of this classic third album from the Rap duo. Originally released in 1992, Business Never Personal features 'Can't Hear Nothing But The Music', 'Who Killed Jane' and 'Nobody's Safe Chump'. Mercury.

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CD Reviews

Vastly Underrated (4.5 Stars)
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When cats speak about the dopest EPMD albums, for whatever reason, Business Never Personal is always left out. And it pains me, since this may be my FAVOURITE album of theirs (though their BEST is probably Unfinished Business...)

This is pure, un-cut rap music. Rugged and raw. Though Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith were far from lyrically gifted, the lyrics were always on-point, no matter what they rapped about. Even though there may have been just a bit too much gun-talk from EPMD on this album, the music has an almost unparalleled hardcore sound; quite honestly, E and P could've rapped about bunny rabbits over THIS production, and they would've sounded rough and rugged doing so. It also helps that this album features a few extremely tight guest appearances; Das EFX gets busy on Cummin' At Cha, and Redman & K-Solo catch wreck on what is in my opinion the greatest posse cut ever: The Headbanger. This track, along with Crossover, alone are worth the price of admission. They're that dope.

Also, the music on this album doesn't sound even the slightest bit dated - and this thing came out in '92. EPMD always had a knack for a good groove or a dope loop, but they just took it to another level here. Just peep Can't Hear Nothin' But The Music and the way they sampled the same break that Eric B & Rakim used on Microphone Fiend. It almost makes the latter look childish, but E and P were no Rakims and they knew it - that's why they kept making their beats as tight as possible. No track on this album suffers from a less-than-dope beat.

Also worth noting: Parrish was even able to steal the show from DJ Scratch (not easy to do) on HIS OWN DJ showcase track - Scratch Bring It Back, Pt. 2 - by dropping one of the most hype, energetic verses I've ever heard. And this verse came from the self-proclaimed "Slow-Flower".

Perhaps one flaw this album has is the short length. 39 minutes is very little room for error. But I suppose I need a real reason to give it less that 5 stars. Oh yeah, what's with all the Michael Jackson references? There's TWO of them on "It's Going Down" alone, and plenty more throughout the rest of the album. That's all, I'm done.

Yeah, call me crazy, but almost everything about this album just hits home with me. I can't guarantee you'll feel it as much as I do, but it definitely warrants a listen the same way Strictly Business, Unfinished Business, or Business As Usual do. I didn't know whether to give this album 4.5 or 5 stars, but I guess the extra .5 star is apparently just me feelin' the album more than everybody else (since only 4 other people have done it any justice by reviewing it). Too underrated, and an album as good as this should definitely NOT be out-of-print, Def Jam."
Dark EPMD Sounding LP (Rating: 7 out of 10- -3.5 stars)
Chandler | Atlanta (College Park), Georgia | 11/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith has released many albums from 1988 to 1992. Their fourth album "Business Never Personal" would be their fourth's album as a group before they split up into solo careers. Like many listeners have realized, this is probably the duo's darkest produced LP of their career. All of the production and rhymes are dark and grimy as compared to the other albums that came before this album here.

There are many banging tracks that are scattered throughout this album. One obvious would be the hit single "Headbanger" featuring K-Solo and Redman. Recently All Hip Hop ranked Redman's verse as one of the top 20 verses in Hip Hop, and I have to agree because he basically steals the show there. Another great song is another of the album's lead singles "Crossover" as Erick and Parrish rhyme about Hip Hop artists that turn pop in a matter of time. To be honest, the production on this album took time to grow on me, probably because I wasn't used to them doing dark sounding beats, but songs like "Can't Hear Nothing But The Music" and "Chill" are some of the well produced tracks.

The album is not without flaws though. As I stated before, the production had to grow on me, and it took a while, as well as the dark sounding rhymes, as if both members were angry at something. Another flaw is that both E and P are outshined by Das EFX on "Commin' At Cha". Also, I'm not the only one who noticed the Michael Jackson refrences on this album. This album clocks in at 39 minutes (39:03 to be exact), and it really goes both ways. The good being that it is short and right to the point. Also, it keeps the vibe going for the listener. The bad being that it the shortest EPMD album. It seems like you're getting into the album, it's almost over, leaving a listener for more. Also one can't help but wonder what Erick and Parrish were going through between each other before their split up, and think that this album was put together just to keep their fans happy, and not their full backs into it (possibly another reason justifing it for it's length).

Overall "Business Never Personal" is a great album although it doesn't match their previous albums (my favorite from the group is Business as Usual). Classic material? No. Their best? No. Underrated? Yes. Although they would reunite in 1997, their last two albums wouldn't come close to this right here. This is an album I still would recommend if you want to hear some dark production from Erick and Parrish. I also don't understand why Def Jam let this go out of print. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Lyrics: B+
Production: B+
Guest Appearances: A-
Musical Vibes: B-

Top 5 Tracks:
1. Headbanger (featuring K Solo and Redman)
2. Crossover
3. Can't Hear Nothing But The Music
4. Who Killed Jane (Jane 4)
5. Play The Next Man

Honorable Mention:
1. Commin At Cha (featuring Das EFX)"
Ruff rugged-n-raw! Keep your hoodies on and your boots laced
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 06/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, can somebody please explain to me why this is the only EPMD album that's out of print? I mean, not only was it their best-selling album, including their most successful and recognizable single, but it's easily among their finest work and is a great piece of hip hop from an awesome year, 1992. Somebody at Def Jam needs to wake up.

Anyway, "Business Never Personal" is pure dope. This was EPMD's fourth album in five years, following three certified classics, Strictly Business, Unfinished Business, and Business as Usual. This one's one of their most interesting, it's a departure from their familiar sound on their first albums. Where they were once very sample-reliant on funk and disco records, "Business Never Personal" favors a more stripped down approach, resulting in a very hard, grimy sound, a type of vibe that Boot Camp Clik and others would emulate in the years that followed. The bass hits heavy and the percussion is rough, these beats are really effective. This sound would continue into both Erick and PMD's solo careers, from Erick's early work with the Def Squad to PMD's albums with the Hit Squad. The rhymes are built to match, though. At this point in EPMD's career, Erick and Parrish were as rough as their beats. Their hostile, intimidating approach bashed sucker MCs left and right, heavy on the threats and gun-talk. There's no way a track like "The Steve Martin" of their earlier days would have found their way onto "Business Never Personal." Their rough style is only amplified here. With Parrish's determined, rumbling delivery and Erick's more laidback, conversational rap, it's engineered to near perfection and their chemistry is remarkable. Guests are limited to two songs and only include the rappers from their immediate circle. The album is remarkably consistent.

Some would complain that it's too short, at only 39 minutes, but I find that to be a strength. There's little room for error on a short album of this quality, and it's a very manageable quantity. My only complaints would come in the last few songs, where it's a little redundant and forgettable. Granted, these songs are fine cuts showing EPMD in their prime, but on an album with a few certified classics they don't quite stack up.

The first song is "Boon Dox," a rugged opener that's pretty indicative of what's to come. The beat is grimy and rough, and the chorus contains a distant-sounding vocal sample. Erick and Parrish drop their standard boom-bap, sucker MC-bashing type lyrics, it's a nice start. It hits hard, you can see from the beginning how they're a little rougher this time around. "Nobody's Safe Chump" barely clocks in at two minutes, with more posturing and great chemistry over a looping, tough track. "Can't Hear Nothin' But the Music" is a highlight, showcasing great, original production and two particularly potent verses from each rapper. This song's got so much style, I really like the hook. "Chill" is built around some lethargic horn samples, but somehow still manages to keep a very hard flavor. "Headbanger" is just short of incredible, largely thanks to guest spots from Redman and K-Solo, making it a fist-pumping track with some awesome verses and another great beat. Over a simple beat, DJ Scratch is given a chance to get busy on the turntables in "Scratch Bring It Back, Pt. 2 (Mic Doc)," and PMD's verse is excellent. My favorite track, without a doubt, is the classic "Crossover," arguably the single finest song of their catalog. This showcases EPMD at their most affective: determined, focused, and aggressive. Here, they shut down the sellout rap artists who sacrifice artistry for mainstream success. The production uses a great Zapp sample for an awesome hook, and the winding, rolling beat is perfect. Each verse is great, and their chemistry is at their finest. It's almost ironic that this song became their most successful single, given the subject matter. "Cummin' at Cha" is musically very average, and Erick and Parrish's verses are surprisingly ordinary, until Dre and Skoob of Das EFX take over, entertaining as always. "Play the Next Man" is a little more upbeat and the raps are more directed. The head-nodding "It's Going Down" is solid but not the album's most memorable song, and the disc closes with "Who Killed Jane," probably my favorite installment of their infamous "Jane" saga.

I'm not going to say that "Business Never Personal" is the best EPMD album, but it's hard for me to compare them to each other, they're all so consistent and great for their own reasons. In any event, this album showcases the EPMD product in its prime, and this is the last one to do so. Even though their two "post-retirement" albums (Back in Business and Out of Business) are great, this is the sound they tried to recreate on those albums. EPMD was one of the dopest hip hop products ever, and this album is just one of the reasons why."