Monday, October 29, 2007
It's My THING!
EPMD a American rap group from Brentwood, New York, active for more than 20 years 1986 - 2007 are one of the most prominent acts in East coast hip hop. The group's name is an acronym for "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars", referencing its members: rappers Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith ("PMD"). Diamond J, DJ K La Boss, and later DJ Scratch were DJs for the group.
EPMD's first album, Strictly Business, appeared in 1988, spawning the massive underground hit "Strictly Business", sampling Eric Clapton's "I Shot the Sheriff". Many critics see their first album as their most influential. The group's brand of funk-fueled sample-heavy hip hop proved to be a major force in hip-hop. Unlike old school hip hop, which was first based on disco hits but eventually became more electronic, EPMD based its music mainly on lifting funk & rock breaks for samples, and helped to popularize their usage, along with Marley Marl and Public Enemy. "You're a Customer" combined snippets of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle", Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie", and the bassline from ZZ Top’s "Cheap Sunglasses". "Jane", about a romantic rendezvous turned bad, would be revisited on no less than five sequels; a first for rap, and perhaps rock and roll. "You Gots to Chill" used 80s funk band Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" , which has become one of the most enduring sample sources for rap. "I'm Housin'" was covered some 12 years later by Rage Against the Machine. Managed early on by Russell Simmons' RUSH Management, the group toured with such hip-hop luminaries as Run-DMC, Public Enemy, and DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
EPMD was signed to Sleeping Bag Records for their debut album Strictly Business, by electro funk pioneer, Kurtis Mantronik. Propelled by several strong singles (You Gots to Chill, the title track), the album eventually went gold, selling over 500,000 copies, as did 1989's follow-up, Unfinished Business. Financial frustrations followed when Sleeping Bag went under in 1990. The duo then signed to Def Jam. EPMD returned in 1990 with Business As Usual and Business Never Personal two years later. By 1992, they presided over an extended family dubbed Hit Squad, including Redman, K-Solo, Das Efx, Hurricane G, and the Knucklehedz.
In 1992, EPMD had a hit with their song "Crossover" which lamented rappers making blatant concessions to pop sensibilities (aka 'selling out') in order to get mainstream attention from music audiences.The duo split by January of 1993, under controversial circumstances. According to interviews in The Source and Rap Pages, in late 1991, Smith’s house was burglarized by armed intruders. According to Smith, in the ensuing police investigation, one of the apprehended culprits supposedly gave up Sermon’s name as having allegedly paid them to do it. Sermon was arrested and briefly detained for questioning, but no charges were filed. Still, it led to lingering tensions, and by the time of the breakup, Sermon alleged financial impropriety on Smith’s part. The pair found themselves as solo artists by default: Sermon debuted in 1993 with No Pressure, followed by Double or Nothing (1995), Music (2001), and React (2002). Smith made his statements on 1994's Shade Business, followed by Business is Business (1996).
WATCH: "You Gots To CHILL"-E.P.M.D.
LISTEN:"It's My THING"-EPMD