If you look at the overall success of Hip-Hop over the years it’s easy to notice the magnitude of every individual artist’s contribution to the genre. Let’s not forget, however, the many duos that made noise as well. The MC and the DJ are fundamental to how Hip-Hop stands to this day.

From DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince to Eric B. and Rakim, the collective efforts of two artists will always show and prove that two heads are better than one. During the 1990’s this concept was clear as we were blessed with duos like Method Man and Redman, 8 Ball & MJG and UGK.

As we continue to highlight the 40 Hip-Hop albums that will turn 20 this year, let’s take a look at three albums that established both parties involved and served that good one-two punch to us Hip-Hop heads:

EPMD- Back In Business

Legends never die. Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith are indeed two legendary emcees that with four classics under their belts, released this 5th project in September of 1997. Even with a personal beef going public and shaking the very foundation of their friendship, they squashed the beef and got back to what works. The album was produced by EPMD, Rockwilder (personal favorite of mine) and Agallah and to this day I still feel that “K.I.M” with Red and Keith Murray goes hard!! The sampling on this album was diverse with pieces from Kool & The Gang, Aretha Franklin and 2Pac to name a few.

Capone-n-Norega- The War Report

New York has always been the breeding ground for hardcore, gangsta rap. The début album of Capone-n-Norega in June of 1997 not only embraced this subculture of Hip-Hop but also was the launch pad for some of its greatest acts. Street credibility was indeed established on this album with a plethora of producers from Buckwild, Lord Finesse and Marley Marl to name some. Their unique and different styles just meshed and re-established that grimy, East Coast swag that was missing for a while.





Eightball & MJG- Lyrics of a Pimp

In December of 1997, Ball and G hit us with a compilation album that was an underground hit. Comprised of songs that were done before “Comin’ Out Hard” was released, the Tennessee emcees/producers further advanced the South in terms of Hip-Hop dominance. I remember having this album on cassette and banging it over my speakers in my car. A true classic album that is a must-have.



Any other albums you want to go back-in-the day about from this era of music? Let’s chop it up below!!

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Jerry Miller

The author Jerry Miller

Aspiring entertainment writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. I served as the Entertainment Editor for the largest African-American magazine in the city of Indianapolis.

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