Classic Music: Antlife's Top 25 Hip Hop Albums of All-Time #11 (Showbiz & A.G. "Runaway Slave") (1992)

We’re goin’ back to a time now, when it really seemed like a classic album was droppin’ every damn week. If you were a kid around this time, you knew you’d be askin’ your parents for small fortunes, in order to be able to buy all the albums that were coming out around that time. Hip Hop had become my obsession, I really didn’t care about anything else. It was all I thought about. I just wanted to get home from school to throw my albums on. When I was outside, I’d have my little walkman on. There was never a time when I wasn’t try’na listen to my music. My friends were exactly the same, so everything kind of worked out perfectly for me. And when music is the focal point of your social circle, things just get amplified. So when Showbiz & A.G. dropped Runaway Slave, we were all in a trance!
I’ll start off by saying that they were from New York. They also shot videos in places that were spots we’d been to or had seen. They were local heroes. That just made them even cooler to us. But the music, that’s where it all counted. Showbiz was such a ridiculous producer at a very young age! His beats back then just couldn’t lose. And this album was musically ridiculous from start to finish. A.G. sounded like someone you’d know from around your way, we liked that. He was, and still is, very “New York”. That made him dope to us, but he was also nice with the lyrics too. They spoke on all kinds of topics, there wasn’t just one lane. They’d tell you about police harassment, trying to succeed out of poverty, politics of the music business, creating beats and records from scratch, etc. There was just never a shortage of material for them to speak on. And they were part of a dope crew (D.I.T.C. = Diggin’ in the Crates), so they always had crazy guest appearances.   Diamond D, Big L & Lord Finesse were always close, and would pop up on records all the time. 
I had this album on both cassette (yes, tape!) and CD back then. One for the house and one for when I went to school. That’s how dope this album was to me, I needed it with me wherever I went. It marked a place in my childhood that I’ll never forget. And when I listen to the songs today, they all sound just as fresh as they did back then. The whole album was crazy, so it wouldn’t make sense to single out individual tracks. This was what a complete album sounds like, from front to back. And it’s definitely one that any true Hip Hop head should own. 


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