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Goodfellas

Show & A.G.

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Album Review

The second shot fired from D.I.T.C.'s charter members Show & A.G. is a shade darker than their debut. While 1992's Runaway Slave was definitely no new jack swing affair, Good Fellas is decidedly more grimy and a lot less playful, both on the production and the lyrical ends. The lead single, "Next Level," also remixed exceptionally on the album by DJ Premier, was the only track that made any above-ground noise. Arguably the best cut on the album, the track is a manifesto of real hip-hop over a melodic guitar sample. Much of the album rumbles along to the tune of low bass grooves and noisy ambient loops of a jazzy variety. From bouncy xylophones to the standard Showbiz horns and kick drums, the production here is tightly constructed. At the time of its release (mid-1995), East Coast hip-hop was cruising along in a rugged gangster mode. All the while an ugly coastal battle was brewing that would conspire to darken hip-hop forevermore. This album steers clear of the coast bashing despite its unmistakable East Coast stamp and appeal. A few tracks do lack a distinct flavor, but overall the methodical, unassuming D.I.T.C, sound here has since been grafted but never duplicated. Show & A.G. affirm that the road to respect-worthy hip-hop status is not through releasing an album every six months, but by letting things marinate for a few years and then proving you're still on top of your game. ~ M.F. DiBella, Rovi

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Goodfellas, Show & A.G.
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