October 10 [16:00 EDT] -- Longtime hip-hop fans are not shy about their admiration for EPMD, the Long Island duo about to release their fifth album, Back In Business.
Many fans feel EPMD's first four albums--1988's Strictly Business, 1989's Unfinished Business, 1991's Business as Usual, and 1992's Business Never Personal--stack up well against any other rap acts' first four LPs. EPMD are considered forefathers of the cool-as-ice tag team rap style used by rappers like the Wu-tang Clan, Mobb Deep and Outkast, among others.
Back In Business marks Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith's reunion. (EPMD stands for "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars.") The childhood friends broke up in 1992 after a personal dispute. Parrish Smith went on to manage the careers of Das EFX and record two solo albums. Erick Sermon became a successful producer, manning the boards on Keith Murray's and Redman's albums, among others.
Before Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, EPMD mined George Clinton's funk catalogues
for samples to drive their songs, scoring hits with "You Gots to Chill," "So Whatchu Sayin'," and "Crossover." EPMD's songs layered low basslines on molasses slow grooves, providing a noir tone for their often humorous sagas of two regular guys from Long Island. Backed by their albums' consistent sales, EPMD recruited other acts, like Long Island's K-Solo, Das EFX from Brooklyn and Redman from Newark, setting the trend of the rap star as a stage for other acts to leap from.