Monday, July 10, 2006

ERICK SERMON
"THE GREEN-EYED BANDIT!"
Let me just start off by saying...I don't get bothered by much in life! I am a pretty easy going person 92% of the time, but there are a few things that irritate me! What makes me a madder than somebody drinkin' up all the milk, holdin' up a sign asking for HELP while standing on the corner wearing newer shoes than mines & driving a car with black smoke pouring out of the tailpipe...is a teenager that thinks they know everything about hiphop!! I debate with teenie-bopperz all of the time and it usually ends with me saying, "HipHop did not start in 1995..you crumbsnatcher!" There are numerous hiphop veterans that unfortunately never got the chance to have clothing lines, shoe deals and platinum albums, but they definitely paved the way for the artists that came after them even if no one gives them their props. For that alone, they deserved to be recognized!

Today, SoundNexx is paying homage to Erick Sermon! Erick has done a lot for hiphop and music in general, but he is mostly recognized as one half of the superduo EPMD along side his partner Parrish Smith. Erick & Parrish Making Dollarz (EPMD) was one of the most influential groups of the late 80's and early 90's! If you didn't like EPMD, you didn't like hiphop. The chemistry on the mic between Erick and Parrish was flawless, and them flowing over the top of Erick's funky instrumentals would be the birth of several classic hiphop records. Tracks like "You're A Customer" and "You Gots To Chill" are stellar classics that could still be played today and have any party rockin'! Both of these tracks were on there now imfamous debute album titled, "Strictly Business" in 1988! A year later came their second album, "Unfinished Business," which solidified that they were not just a fluke! So Wat Cha Sayin? EPMD stayed on track with the yearly album releases by dropping their third album "Business As Usual" in 1990. On this album, the Hit Squad was born. K-Solo and Redman spit their first verses (not much) on this album, which lead into the classic posse cut "Head Banger" off of their fourth album, "Business Never Personal" in 1992. Sadly, things were starting to get personal! Money, betrayal and deceit basically destroyed EPMD and ripped this once monumental hiphop crew apart! Another sad after effect of EPMD's split was the displacement of the Hit Squad members. The crew had grown and the members consisted of: Redman, Das EFX, K-Solo, Hurricane G & Knuckleheadz. They also had to decide who they were going to roll with between Erick and Parrish, which sucked! It was a mess to say the least! Unfortunately, some of those artists were never heard from again? It was definitely a dismal day for hiphop when EPMD finally split up, but it was actually the birth of Erick Sermon's solo career!

Since, Erick Sermon was a well known producer by that time so he was a hot commodity in the music industry! Plus, he had Redman and his newly signed crew member, Keith Murray by his side! They formed a new crew called, "The Def Squad!" Each one of them would have several solo albums produced by Erick Sermon! Much classic material came from these katz! Erick Sermon was producing tracks and remixing joints for just about everybody that was anybody in the 90's! Then suddenly...after years of not really speaking, PMD and Erick Sermon decided to put their negative past behind them, and comeback together for a fifth EPMD album appropriately titled, "Back In Business" that dropped in 1997! The buzz was definitely back in the streets for this reunion, but the chemistry on the album was lacking? Had music changed so much that EPMD sounded kind of dated? They tried it again in 1999 with the release of "Out Of Business" and the title of the album said it all! It had obviously been too long for the duo, and the project seemed rushed and unfocused? Was this a scheme to make money? This would be the final album for EPMD, but Erick was steadily recreating his production sound. Over the years Erick had produced hits for artists like Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, En Vogue, LL Cool J & Blackstreet (just to name a few)!

The mid-90's were full of hiphop breakthrough powerhouses like Death Row Records (Snoop, Tupac, Dr. Dre), Bad Boy Records (Biggie, Craig Mack, Mase) and The Wu-Tang Clan that basically had hiphop by the throat at that time! That left Erick Sermon in a difficult position. It seemed like the hiphop community had forgotten about him and his sound! These fickle hiphop headz! How soon they forget? Other than the hit single, "Music" that used that now classic Marvin Gaye sample back in 2001, Erick would pretty much been invisible? Not that he was trying to be, but the music industry had pushed him aside (like so many others in the past) looking for the next new talent. Is the man known for spittin' lyrical one-liners with the lisp gone forever? Erick tried to resurrect his career with the release of "React" in 2002, and "Chilltown, New York" in 2004, but they both went unnoticed? That joint actually had a couple of bangers on it. Who knows for sure whether Erick Sermon will ever make a true comeback in this game we call "HIPHOP?" If he does..."Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years!!!"

BTW, is his eyes really GREEN?? I always thought he wore contacts, but I have heard that they were real as well???

Of course I gotta mix poppin' off reppin' my man Erick Sermon, but until then..do yourself a favor and get reacquainted with those EPMD and ERICK SERMON classics (except you DMecca...I know u still got them in the whip!)

Oh Yeah, Kanye West wasn't the first rapper to make song about a Gold Digger (4 those of you that didn't know already).....

Remember this track: EPMD - Gold Digger (1990)

1 comment:

Sinnful said...

Erick was one of my favorite producers back in the day. EPMD is one of greatest duos of all time!
Great post!