Business Never Personal
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Business Never Personal
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 28, 1992
GenreHardcore hip hop, golden age hip hop
Charlie Marotta
DJ Scratch
Mr. Bozack
EPMD chronology
Business As Usual
Business Never Personal
Back in Business
Singles from Business Never Personal
  1. "Crossover"
    Released: June 23, 1992
  2. "Head Banger"
    Released: October 29, 1992

Business Never Personal is the fourth studio album by hip hop duo EPMD.[1] It was released on July 28, 1992, on Def Jam Records.[2] Following mixed criticism of their previous studio effort, 1990's Business As Usual, the duo was able to return to their past acclaim on Business Never Personal. The lead single, "Crossover," became its biggest success, nearly reaching the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about keeping it real and not crossing over to the mainstream, but became EPMD's biggest mainstream success.

The duo cut "Head Banger" with Redman and K-Solo, and it was also a hit in 1992. The album was certified Gold in sales by the RIAA on October 13, 1992.[3] The single "Crossover" was certified Gold on November 16, 1992. While it has yet to be reissued in the U.S., Business Never Personal was re-released in 2005 on vinyl in Europe.

Members Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith began having money troubles during recording, which led to a 1992 robbery of Smith's home. The perpetrators claimed that Erick Sermon paid them to do the deed, causing the group to break up soon after this release. They each released two solo albums between 1993 and 1996, then reunited as a duo in 1997.[4]

Critical reception

The album is considered the duo's third classic by fans and critics. The record was given a rating of 4.5 mics out of 5 in The Source in 1992.[10]

The Washington Post wrote: "Zapp member Roger Troutman's sampled, synthesized voice is looped with the chorus of the bumping current hit 'Crossover,' EPMD's attack on rappers who 'sell their souls to go gold' while slinking bass propels 'Play the Next Man,' which finds Sermon and Smith slamming manipulative women."[11]

Track listing

# Title Producer(s) Performer (s) Length
1 "Boon Dox" EPMD EPMD 2:48
2 "Nobody's Safe Chump" EPMD EPMD 2:12
3 "Can't Hear Nothing But the Music" EPMD, Charlie Marotta EPMD 3:37
4 "Chill" EPMD EPMD 2:57
5 "Head Banger" EPMD EPMD, K-Solo, Redman 4:52
6 "Scratch Bring It Back, Pt. 2 [Mic Doc]" DJ Scratch, Mr. Bozack EPMD 3:04
7 "Crossover" EPMD EPMD 3:49
8 "Cummin' at Cha" EPMD EPMD, Das EFX 4:03
9 "Play the Next Man" EPMD EPMD 3:36
10 "It's Going Down" EPMD EPMD 4:12
11 "Who Killed Jane?" EPMD EPMD 3:47


Sample credits[12][13]

Boon Dox

Nobody's Safe Chump

Can't Hear Nothing But the Music


Head Banger

Scratch Bring It Back, Pt. 2 [Mic Doc]


Cummin' at Cha

Play the Next Man

It's Going Down

Who Killed Jane?


Singles Chart Positions

Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
1992 "Crossover" #42 #14 #1 #12
1992 "Head Banger" - #75 #11 -


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "EPMD". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ EPMD: Business Never Personal. Def Jam Records. July 1992.
  3. ^ RIAA Searchable Database - Search: Business Never Personal Archived June 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on August 10, 2008.
  4. ^ EPMD | View the Music Artists Biography Online | Archived 2009-05-06 at the Wayback Machine. MTV Networks. Retrieved on August 11, 2008.
  5. ^ "Business Never Personal - EPMD | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic" – via
  6. ^ "Music Review: 'Business Never Personal'".
  7. ^ "EPMD: Business Never Personal : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. February 20, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-02-20.
  8. ^ The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. 2004. p. 281.
  9. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: EPMD".
  10. ^ a b Big Greg Cee (August 1992). "EPMD: Business Never Personal". The Source (35).
  11. ^ Griffin, Gil (July 31, 1992). "NEW HIP-HOP'S MACHO LIP SERVICE" – via
  12. ^ "EPMD: Business Never Personal".
  13. ^ "EPMD: Business Never Personal".
  14. ^ "EPMD, TLP". Billboard. Retrieved 2021.
  15. ^ "EPMD, BLP". Billboard. Retrieved 2021.
  16. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Year-End 1992". Billboard. Retrieved 2021.
  17. ^ "American album certifications - EPMD - Business Never Personal". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2021.

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