As far as mainstream recognition is concerned, Showbiz & A.G.’s lone chart appearance came courtesy of the “Goodfellas” album in 1995, which the duo released under the moniker Show & A.G. And while that album spent 10 weeks on Billboard magazine’s R&B/Hip Hop chart, few things embody early-to-mid ‘90’s, sample-based, New York Hip Hop better than their official debut Runaway Slave. The album began as the single “Soul Clap” with its B-side “Party Groove,” and despite being in the ultra-talented Diggin’ In The Crates collective, it immediately stood out and provided a formal introduction to Showbiz and Andre The Giant.
“We have our own Showbiz and A.G. style, and it’s nothing like anybody else,” A.G. explained during the pair’s first “Rap City” interview. “We feel a vibe over the music and the mood that we’re in, and we do what we gotta do over the tracks.”
The “Soul Clap” video shoot was a family affair, reaffirming A.G.’s bars that he “Never backed down / My Crew’s in the background,” and boasted appearances from Gang Starr, Chi Ali and the D.I.T.C. family. And while it also poked fun at the issue of bootlegging by featuring Show, A.G. and Nice & Smooth being robbed of the “Soul Clap” master recording, there was a bit of truth in the parody.
After originally releasing the “Soul Clap” single on Showbiz’s self-titled Showbiz Records, the demand for the single began to exceed the supply. Legend has it, Show & A.G. were moving units from the trunks of their cars and independent record stores. But if you were outside the tri-state area and couldn’t dub a cassette from a friend or family member, your friendly neighborhood bootlegger was happy to lend a hand for the right price.
“We got a buzz from that, and we signed with Polygram and put the same EP out three years later,” A.G. added. That EP would grow into the now classic album, Runaway Slave, which in addition to “Soul Clap,” featured the eponymous D.I.T.C. track “Diggin’ In The Crates.”
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can still head over to Amazon.com and add Runaway Slave to your collection. Just go easy on the bootlegging—digital or otherwise. You see how that approach worked for the would-be robbers in the “Soul Clap” video.