Showbiz & A.G., Runaway Slave (1992)
This album has been mentioned in more than a few "Best Album Ever" lists. Does this rare 1992 gem hold up to it's billing?
From the opener "Stil Diggin'", you can tell that it's another extremely well-produced DITC album, including Diamond D famously saying "Holy Mackarel!"
Most of these beats sample some really hard drums and horns. Unfortuneatly, sometimes the beats run together a little. None of them are individually less than awesome, but if you listen through to them, they kind of do get just a little repetitive.
"Fat Pockets" is one of my early favorites, with an AG verse that switches beats from their hits such as "Soul Clap" and "Party Groove"
The album sticks to mostly a party flavor, but songs like "More Than One Way Out Of the Ghetto" show a deeper side through a first person narrative from the Giant himself, while never becoming overly preachy or self-righteous.
Another standout is the DITC posse cut, "Represent" featuring punchline kings Big L and Lord Finesse and unknown D'Shawn and ending with another quality AG verse.
The self-explanatory "Party Groove (Bass Mix)" helps move things along with an addictive horn loop and a Chuck D sample on the hooks while the "Soul Clap (Short Version)" keeps things up with another great party mix of bass and horns and creative sampling. The album ends with an intsrumental version of "Party Groove (Bass Mix)," which isn't just a direct instrumental version but it adds more elements to the mix.
"Runaway Slave" may not be cracking my legendary top 12 albums ever list, but it certainly makes for a really enjoyable listen - not one song is bad or subpar in any way, just that the great songs it has dont measure up to, say, "Long Live the Kane." I recommend to buy this album if you can find it - the beats are exceptional and so is the rapping, mainly provided by A.G. but his partner (no homo) Showbiz shows up to rap as well a fair amount.
Rating: 9 Mr. T chains
Buy or Copy: Buy if you can find it, it's kinda rare.