#rewindreview: Showbiz & A.G. ‘Runaway Slave’ 1992


Growing up my interest in HOP music came from the benefit of cable television. This didn’t mean that I grew up in a rich home by any means but that cable was cheap enough to have during certain times in those years. A period that was missed for me was late 1992 thru about 1994, so I missed a lot of singles that might have only been shown on Rap City or Yo! MTV Raps. One single that I caught before that cable bill was overdue and it was gone again was ‘Soul Clap’ from Showbiz & A.G. For those alive or paying attention at that time, know that the single was heavy and stayed in rotation. It was the introduction to the duo and left a lasting impression on ears for years to come. This single was also one of my first CD purchases as the ‘Soul Clap/Party Groove’ maxi single I bought used at the original Soundwaves records store here in #HUEston, after returning a ‘Boys II Men’ album I got for Christmas one year. ‘Soul Clap’ and ‘Fat Pockets (remix)’ was the only songs I was familiar with from ‘Runaway Slave’ at the time. It wasn’t until about 2002 when I finally got around to this album and from then it grew on me. 1992 is not one I put in my “favorite years” of HOP music list so when I initially heard this album it sounded “suspended in time” but Showbiz’s beats were crazy and stick to one’s auditory canal like barnacle on boats. A.G.’s rough rhymes mixed with these beats just gave an energy that can’t be denied. ‘Silence The Lambs,’ ’40 Acres And My Props’ and ‘He Say, She Say’ all have this jazzy but dangerous feel to the songs. ‘Runaway Slave’ also provides interludes to each song with members of D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In The Crates) while also introducing the world to Big L. The album is a time capsule to a world where rap music was more genuine in why it was being created which can be theorized as to why the music holds up after thirty years. Equipment had to be bought, music had to be listened to, time and money had to be scheduled for recording, and M.C.’s had to be ready when these other stars were aligned to make a mark. All this was not done with a click of a button but instead digging in crates to create a unique soul in HOP music. What did you think of the album?

Singles include:
‘Soul Clap,’ ‘Fat Pockets’ & ‘Bounce Ta This’

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