26 Years Ago, EPMD’s ‘Business as Usual’ Went Gold
They did it again? You bet your ass, black
On May 7, 1991, EPMD’s third studio album, Business as Usual, was certified RIAA Gold. Released on December 18, 1990, Business as Usual, peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard 200, staying on the charts for 21 weeks. The project followed the group’s albums Strictly Business (1988) and Unfinished Business (1989).
It was Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith’s first release through Def Jam after leaving the group’s former label, Fresh Records. EPMD’s new labelmate L.L. Cool J appeared on single “Rampage,” which went to No. 2 on the Hot Rap Singles chart.
Business as Usual also featured the debut of Redman, signaling the expansion of the group’s Hit Squad crew. In a interview with Complex, Sermon said that he met Redman when he was DJing for DoItAll from Lords Of The Underground at a club in New Jersey.
“I knew there was something spectacular about him. Right off the bat. The next day, we talked. And within the next two or three months, he moved to Long Island, to my crib. He moved right in to my apartment,” Sermon told Complex.
Redman appeared on the tracks “Brother’s on My Jock” and “Hardcore.” Later, he made another appearance on EPMD’s 1992 single “Head Banger.” Redman’s vintage verses on EPMD’s earliest albums are some of his best.
The album also featured the singles “Gold Digger” and “Give the People,” helping make Business as Usual a crucial moment in EPMD’s decades-long career.
Stream the entire album below.