I love EPMD, and their 1988 debut album, Strictly Business, is one of my top favorites. This is the album, my friends, that gave us those classic quotable verses you can still hear getting snuck into hip-hop tracks to this day, from “Beam me up, Scotty / I control your body / I’m as deadly as AIDS / when it’s time to rock a party” (track: “Strictly Business”) to “Thanks to the clientele, yo, I rock well” (track: “You Gots to Chill”). Another reason this album is great? The samples! From Kool & the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” to “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band, EPMD keeps the funk flowing, all the while making fun of sucka MCs, dissin’ on new jacks and boasting about their ability to “come cold rock a party and leave with your honey.”
Today’s Song of the Day is no exception. In fact, I selected “I’m Housin’” because it’s the perfect embodiment of all of these factors comprising Strictly Business—it has the groovy, soulful beats to get your body moving, thanks to “Rock Steady” by Aretha Franklin, and maintains the disses and braggadocio. This song is a blast. If you’ve been following along with Synconation on our journey through the ‘80s, then I think you’ve got your perfect ‘80s track to get your weekend started. I mean, if you can’t get down to a song that makes the guarantee to “keep the place jumpin’ ‘til the party’s through,” well, then…you be illin’. Enjoy!
FUN FACT TIME: Rage Against the Machine covered this song and included it on their covers album, Renegades of Funk. Their version sounds nothing like the original, which I think is great—they totally made it their own.
Best Place and Time to Listen: Coolin’ on the scene like a horse in a stable.
If This Song Was a Celebrity It Would Be: James Brown. He did his fair share of boasting while always, always keeping it funky.