EPMD To "Focus" On Troutman Tribute

Rap duo EPMD has mapped out a tribute track in honor of the late funk legend and Zapp member Roger Troutman and his enduring influence on hip-hop.

EPMD (otherwise known as Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith) put together a song called "Focus" with Troutman on the hook that Sermon may release on his own Def Squad Records. EPMD borrowed from Zapp's "More Bounce To The Ounce" for its 1987 classic "You Gots To Chill" marking just one of several Troutman samples and influences that turned up on EPMD albums over the years.

"Without Roger, there wouldn't have been no 'You Gots To Chill,' and that's one of our major songs," Smith recently told the MTV Radio Network. "EPMD is one of the only, if not the only rap group that, we didn't [just] do songs and featured Roger. Because of 'You Gots To Chill', we went and produced a song for Roger, and he featured us." [RealAudio]

Smith went on

to call Troutman's death a "major loss" for music. Troutman was gunned down outside a Dayton, Ohio recording studio in April of this year (see "Zapp's Roger And Larry Troutman Killed In Apparent Murder-Suicide").

EPMD's "You Gots To Chill" will surface again next week when the duo's "Out Of Business" arrives in stores. The collection features 15 new songs as well as 10 classics like "You GotsŠ" and "Crossover," which samples the Troutman song "You Should Be Mine."