I'm not sure why I missed the EPMD boat when I was a kid. I certainly knew of them, but I didn't even get this album until a few years ago. And it remains the sole EPMD album in my collection. A sad state of affairs, indeed.
Having said that, I really dig this one. And if this was considered a step down from their earlier releases, then I need to really be kicking myself. The beats on this bad boy are classic golden era hip hop, sample-heavy but chopped up just right. The flows are full and steady, and the hooks aren't driven home as hard as they are these days. Instead, there's just tons of rapping, and that's fine by me.
As usual, I could do without the LL Cool J guest spot, but that's just a personal preference. And really, he's not even that terrible on "Rampage," even dropping a random Seka (the old school porn star) reference. Overall, this record is just one more frustrating reminder of how great hip hop used to be. No skits, no filler, just steady heavy beats and some dudes trying to outwit each other.
Thankfully we still have the artifacts from the glory days.