EPMD / The Big Payback

EPMD / The Big Payback

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Title: The Big Payback
Label: Mr. Bongo
Cat.#: MRB7197 
Format: 7" Vinyl, Reissue
Country: UK
Released: 2021
Genre: Hip Hop

Track Listing:

By the time of their second album, 1989’s ‘Unfinished Business’,
EPMD were firmly cemented in the rap stratosphere. With one
certified classic album under their belts, they proved they were no
one-hit wonders, with the sequel possibly even better. A concise 12
tracker once again produced by the artists themselves, it saw them
adhering to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ maxim, while going
somewhat ‘bigger’.

In other words, guests started to appear – not just on the records,
but in the videos – and marketing budgets were higher. None of
which watered down their sound. In fact, this is the ultimate EPMD
record: a beat that’s simple but perfect, and two top-of-their-game
MC’s going back and forth. But the appearance of NWA in the video
for ‘The Big Payback’ hints at their reputation at the time – and at the
cordial relations between coasts before the deadly beef that was to

‘Payback’ takes both its title and core sample from James Brown’s
‘The Payback’ from 1973, and then weaves two more JB elements
with it, including the addictive stabs from ‘Baby, Here I Come’. It’s a
golden track from the golden age.

The B-side is another gem from the same album, and only released
before on 7” in a very rare, limited pressing. ‘So Wat Cha Sayin’ was
the album’s lead single, and shows EPMD’s wide sampling palette.
There’s bits of BT Express, a whole lot of Funkadelic and,
brilliantly, some drums lifted from Soul II Soul’s gem from just the
year before, ‘Fairplay’. Lyrically, it’s just all about threats to sucker’s
MC’s – what else do you want from EPMD?

* A certified Hip Hop classic.
* Samples James Brown’s ‘The Payback’ from 1973.