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The Show

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Album Review

Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth, and Stricklin first came together on Ace's 2001 conceptual solo album Disposable Arts, each doing an MC-as-character-actor shtick with individual verses moving along the record's wider narrative structure. Three years after reuniting on a second, similarly concept-driven follow-up, the 2005 prequel A Long Hot Summer, the four lyricists officially formed a supergroup, EMC. The story line on their debut LP, The Show, is pretty basic — our protagonists fly out of town to play a concert. Simple enough, but the larger framework allows the group to touch on a variety of aspects of the music business — from negotiating with promoters, residing in hotels, and radio interviews to coping with separation from loved ones and dealing with groupies. All of it never ventures too far out of the banal, but with these four talented lyricists displaying their finely honed story-telling skills over top-notch production work (courtesy of underground favorites like Nicolay, Ayatollah, and Marco Polo, as well as a slew of capable unknowns), The Show makes for an entertaining and accessible listen from start to finish. The title track sums it all up nicely, with each MC giving a play-by-play of their actions in the hours leading up to the main event.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Although the hip-hop group eMC didn't officially come together until 2005, after Masta Ace had released his Long Hot Summer LP and was rumored to be in retirement, the four had been working together since 2001, when Punchline and Wordsworth (also known as Punch & Words) and Stricklin (originally from Milwaukee) appeared on Ace's 2001 album, Disposable Arts, also spending time touring with the veteran rapper. They had no formal idea of forming a group, however, until they read (unfounded) rumors about...
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The Show, eMC
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