Urban Legends/UMe reissued the vinyl of Showbiz & A.G.’s Runaway Slave album. In addition, Urban Legends will also release a very limited amount of red translucent vinyl pressings available only at shop.urbanlegends.com.
Runaway Slave was a breakout LP in 1992 for Showbiz & A.G., the Bronx duo whose crew, D.I.T.C. was commanding NY underground rap with dark, expertly sourced samples and tremendous lyrical fire power from Fat Joe, Big L, and Lord Finesse, respectfully. Runaway Slave‘s single “Soul Clap” (originally released on a previous EP) remains a favorite that has taken a life of its own in subsequent decades through word-of-mouth, compilations, and mixtapes. The duo further solidified D.I.T.C.’s consistent reign as Bronx stalwarts with equal acumen for production and rhymes but also emerged as a standout sub-component within the crew. The project melded as a perfect marriage between Showbiz’s production and A.G.’s exuberantly visual verses.
While “Soul Clap” went on to become an informal classic, other singles formally did quite well in 1993. “Bounce Ta This”—featuring an especially thoughtful verse by Dres of Black Sheep—charted at No. 15 on the Hot Rap Singles chart as did “Fat Pockets” which peaked at No. 8. Despite the album’s rough, boom-bap aesthetic, it surprisingly also penetrated the Top R&B Charts at No. 78. While it surely deserved chart attention, it’s the grimier cuts that provided the connective tissue that made it initially stunning and ultimately timeless.
The monstrous posse cut “Represent” featuring top-form, menacing D.I.T.C personnel; Lord Finesse and Big L—DeShawn also appears on the track as does A.G. Other notable D.I.T.C. Diamond D drops in on the fittingly titled “Still Diggin’.”
Runaway Slave is a sonorous whirlwind of out-for-self street strength, shifty imagery, and sharp punchlines.
1. Still Diggin’
1. 40 Acres And My Props
2. Fat Pockets
2. Hold Ya Head
3. Bounce Ta This
4. Runaway Slave
4. Silence Of The Lambs
5. Hard To Kill
5. Soul Clap (Short Version)
ABOUT UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP’S “URBAN LEGENDS”
Urban Legends is a multi-platform website that honors the past 30 years of Universal Music Group’s (UMG) urban catalog. The label imprint and platform, which came to fruition in late 2017, celebrates the artists and music at the heart and soul of hip-hop, with commentary by noted music writers and the artists themselves.
Nobody forgets the album that changed their life—that one song that defined the moment. Urban Legends remembers and reimagines what it means to be a fan, helping music lovers fall in love with their favorites all over again. We celebrate our icons, our culture, our style, our legacy, our music—and why it matters.
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