Top 8 of 08 #6: eMC – The Show

January 2nd, 2009 by | Tags: , ,

eMC is Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Punchline, and Stricklin, and their The Show is one of those long lost fossils of rap– a concept album. It isn’t as thoroughly concept-heavy as, say, Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves (if you hate that album you are less than trash), but it’s about a day on the road of eMC, a touring rap group.

It works. It uses skits to fill in the blanks, and most of them are a minute or less, thankfully. There’s nothing worse than falling into a five minute skit about nothing at the beginning of a song. The songs are tight, the production is spot-on, if not particularly spectacular, and the rhymes are tight.

That’s the thing about this album. eMC is heavy with true spitters. I first heard Punch & Words on the classic Lyricist Lounge tape from years ago. Wordsworth alone had ridiculous punchline, a , and insane jokes. Masta Ace has dropped like eighty thousand albums, it feels like, and is a New York rap mainstay. Sean Price (of Heltah Skeltah) shows up for a classic guest appearance.

With the exception of Stricklin, eMC hails from Brooklyn, New York, New York. All of them have been around for ten or more years at this point, too. You know how people talk about how they “need to bring New York back?” This is where New York has been all this time. It’s that same mold that Big L, Big Pun, and a bunch of other rappers were pushing in the ’90s. These cats just never stopped doing it. It’s not that they haven’t evolved– it’s that they didn’t fall for the Chicken Noodle Soup, Swaggariffic, and Pause rap that infested NYC after 2000.

In the current climate, eMC’s The Show isn’t very marketable at all. That’s just being honest. It’s real hip-hop, no gimmicks. No sex symbols, gun play, drug dealing, or swagger to speak of. It’s regular people rap. It’s a bunch of guys who love the art form getting together and making something worth listening to. It’s an easy going album, and something you can keep on in the background while you work. Really, all it’s missing is a Jean Grae guest appearance.

Hey, do you guys remember when Busta Rhymes made fun music like this? That was a good time, wasn’t it? Too bad he’s too busy making Arab Money and dealing drugs now.

Official videos:
Leak It Out
(EMC) What It Stand For

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2 comments to “Top 8 of 08 #6: eMC – The Show”

  1. This is a really great album that I didn’t catch up with until late in the year, but I’ve gotta say that I don’t think the skits are going to stay alive much longer.

    I’d be interested to take another look at those Lyricist Lounge tapes and see how many of those guys are still operating. Those things were classics.

  2. When was this album recorded? Anyway I’ll be checking for the rest of your Top 8. Good stuff.