Producer: EPMD, DJ Scratch
Album: Unfinished Business
Label: Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records

When is sloppy not sloppy? When is moldy not moldy? When are you permitted to break all the rules and still get the glory? When you have something as tasty as "So Wat Cha Sayin," that's when. "One Nation Under a Groove" is a song built for a summer block party so what does Erick Sermon do? He shaves off all its treble, drags it down to the sewer and transforms it to a funk so polluted you'd think he scavenged it from the Gowanus Canal. The happy-go-luck lyrics ("Sit back and recline / Watch the sun shine / Take a stroll / Listen to rock and roll") are undermined by the thoroughly skewed Funkadelic sample that serves as chorus. Even as they reigned supreme among the cutthroat competition of New York rap circa 1989, EPMD was predicting the queasy sonic states that would come to fruition in Houston, Memphis and New Orleans in the decade to follow. —Sam Sweet