The Art Of Rap Fest Artist Spotlight – EPMD
EPMD emerged on the Hip Hop scene from Brentwood, Long Island with their smash debut album Strictly Business. A commercial and critical success, the album would go on to become platinum and EPMD would go on to be mentioned in every debate about Hip Hop’s greatest duos. As a pre-teen, I remember hearing their monotone flow in “You Gots To Chill” over a Zapp and Roger track and seeing what I believed to be the first “blue collar” rappers. EPMD didn’t have elaborate costumes, or contrived images, they actually looked like they could be fans at their own concert. A bucket hat and a sweat shirt matched the feel of their music. Just authentic. Bass driven loops and grooves with easily relatable lyrics was a format the EPMD would pioneer and politic into multiple decades of Hip Hop prominence. Whether you were Eric Clapton, Steve Miller or James Brown, if you had a groove EPMD was going to make it into a street anthem. Using the word “Business” in every album title the group reminded you what EPMD stands for, Eric and Parish Making Dollars.
After label strife at Sleeping Bag Records, EPMD moved over to Def Jam records and not only found success with hit singles like “Crossover. This led to them starting their own production company and going on to discover classic Hip Hop acts Redman, Das Efx, K- Solo, Jamal and Keith Murray. Internal issues forced the group to briefly disband and actually compete against each other. This dark time in EPMD’s history still led to some of the best Hip Hop records ever made as the Hit Squad and the Def Squad competed fiercely for the number one spots in Hip Hop.
EPMD has contributed so much to the culture that they are able to tour world wide year round. They perform with the same tenacity and sharpness that made them famous 29 years ago. Yes the beats still bang. They actually bang HARDER now. They’ve kept the problems aside for the sake of Hip Hop fans who will show up whenever they see those four letter on the bill that are bigger than any acronym you can think of. Say it with me E-P-M-D
Catch EPMD At The Art Or Rap Fest July 18th in Irvine Ca, and July 19th in Mountainview, CA alongside Ice T, The Game, Afrika Bambaataa, Warren G, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Slick Rick, Doug E Fresh, King T, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, The Alkaholiks, Naughty Nation, Too Short and more.