Long Island hip-hop legend EPMD rocked Queensbridge Park recently as part of the City Parks Foundation summer concert series.
Before You Press Play:
Note that this No Cover concert contains explicit language.
Hometown: Brentwood, Long Island, NY
The Facts: Rappers Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith have been spitting fire as EPMD (Erick and Parrish Making Dollar) since the late-1980s, and creating stone cold hip-hop classics along the way. Case and point? Their first single, 1987’s “It’s My Thing,” which led musician/A&R man Kurtis Mantronik to sign the duo to Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records.
The group's seminal debut, Strictly Business (with hits like “You Gots To Chill,” “I’m Housin,’ and the album's title track) helped cement EPMD’s rightful place in the hip-hop firmament as did the group's subsequent three albums, Unfinished Business (1989), Business as Usual, (1990), and Business Never Personal (1992). After splitting up in 1993, and then producing several solo albums and collaborations, EPMD reunited to release Back in Business (1998), Out of Business (1999) and We Mean Business (2008).
The Sound: EPMD’s “Strictly Business” helped create a sonic template for future hip-hop music by combining disparate but eminently catchy samples (from Aretha Franklin and Marva Whitney to Eric Clapton and Steve Miller to Zapp and ZZ Top) with supremely funky beats and the duo’s dead-eyed swagger.
The group’s sound was codified with the Hit Squad, a group of associated artists that included Redman, DJ Scratch, Das EFX, K-Solo, and the Knuckleheads. Highlights of the Queensbridge set featured here include “So Whatcha Sayin” (9:22), DJ Scratch’s incendiary seven-minute solo (13:12) and “The Crossover” (33:22). Listen for rap royalty appearances and shout-outs to Marley Marl, Capone (Noriega & Capon), Spinderella (Salt ‘n Pepa), Greg Nice (of Nice & Smooth) and NBA champion, rapper and Queensbridge native Ron Artest.
Latet Release: We Mean Business (EP Records), December 2009
He Said, She Said: “Out of nowhere to the top of the charts, these frosty freezers are one more proof of the supposedly subliterate-to-subcriminal rap audience's exacting prerogatives--what's snapped up as freshest often is. The beats are disco hooks sampled full effect, two or three to the track; the attack is traditionalist, formalist, minimalist. Rapping almost exclusively about rap, E Double EE and Pee MD don't emote or pander or yuk it up. In their one sex boast, the skeezer gets the last word. A- “ —Robert Christgau, Village Voice Consumer Guide, 2008
“When EPMD split, they broke my heart. Not the most revolutionary group in hip-hop, but one of the most consistent in their day.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, 2/2009
It’s My Thing
You Gots To Chill
You’re A Customer
A Capella Freestyle Rap
So What Cha Sayin?
DJ Scratch Solo
Please Listen To Our Demo
Just Like Music