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On this day, June 7, in hip-hop history…

1988: EPMD released their debut studio album, Strictly Business.

The LP from the golden-era rap duo, which consists of members Erick Sermon and Parish Smith, has been widely considered the group’s most influential album. The project, which was released via Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records, features 10 total tracks, with major singles stemming from the pair including the title record, “Strictly Business,” as well as “I’m Housin” and “You Gots to Chill.”

EPMD did not recruit any guest verses for the project, but did lend the spotlight to DJ K La Boss, who offered his DJ scratching abilities to the album’s ninth track.

Strictly Business peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, but despite the low statistic, it earned gold certification from the RIAA within the first four months of its release. While it may have been more under-appreciated during the months following its initial delivery, the album has gone on to be considered a classic as far as hip-hop collections.

The album also became a breakthrough for samples in hip-hop, as EPMD became one of the first groups to use rock and funk samples for the production, following the popularity of artists sampling disco tracks.

Happy 30th anniversary to EPMD’s Strictly Business debut album.

Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records

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