In the late '70s and early '80s, the majority of well-known rappers came from Harlem and the South Bronx. But by the mid-'80s, Queens and Brooklyn were major players in hip-hop -- and in the late '80s, the popularity of West Coast gangsta rap and Florida bass made it clear that an MC didn't have to come from any of New York's five boroughs to sell millions of albums. However, many Big Apple MCs remained unaffected by rap trends in the Deep South or on the West Coast. Representing the Boogie Down Bronx, the duo Showbiz & A.G. show no awareness of non-New York styles on this self-titled EP from 1992. The material, all of it enjoyable, is straight-up New York. Favoring a jazzy approach along the lines of Gang Starr and the Jungle Brothers, Showbiz & A.G. are instantly recognizable as an East Coast group. The beats are consistently New York-sounding, and the same goes for the rapping -- back in 1992, no one would have mistaken Showbiz & A.G. for Southern or West Coast MCs. They always flow like New Yorkers, just as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Too Short, and Warren G always flow like California rappers. While this EP was not a huge seller, it did help Showbiz & A.G. acquire a small cult following -- especially in New York, Philadelphia, and other areas of the U.S.' Northeastern corridor. And it demonstrated that the Bronx should not be overlooked in the early '90s.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson