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On the surface, the sample-reliant productions and monotone rapping styles of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith had little to recommend them, but the duo's recordings as EPMD were among the best in hip-hop's underground during the late '80s and early '90s. Over the course of four albums (from the 1988 classic Strictly Business to 1992's Business Never Personal), the group rarely varied from two themes: dissing sucker MCs and recounting sexual exploits. A closer look, however, revealed that the duo's rhymes were nothing less than incredible, simply undervalued due to their lack of intonation during delivery. EPMD also had a feel for a good groove, and created numerous hip-hop classics, including "It's My Thing," "You Gots to Chill," "Get the Bozack," "Strictly Business," and "Rampage." Though EPMD's hardcore style influenced the urban-oriented gangsta '90s, Erick Sermon (aka E Double E; b. Nov. 25, 1968) and Parrish Smith (aka Pee MD; b. May 13, 1968) were both raised in the Long Island suburb of Brentwood. They moved into rap separately, with Smith DJing for Rock Squad on a single for the Tommy Boy label. After coming together in 1987 -- at which time they named themselves EPMD, short for "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars" -- they recorded their debut, "It's My Thing," in three hours. The single was later licensed to Chrysalis, and EPMD signed to Sleeping Bag/Fresh Records for the debut album Strictly Business. Propelled by several strong singles (including "You Gots to Chill" and the title track), the album eventually went gold, as did 1989's follow-up, Unfinished Business. Signed to Def Jam by the beginning of the '90s, EPMD returned in 1990 with Business as Usual and Business Never Personal two years later. By 1992, they presided over an extended family dubbed the Hit Squad, including Redman, K-Solo, and Das EFX. The duo split later that year, however, prompting solo careers for each member; Sermon debuted in 1993 with No Pressure, and Smith made his statement on 1994's Shade Business. The duo then re-formed EPMD in 1997, recording a strong comeback LP named Back in Business. Out of Business followed in 1999, but the rappers continued pursuing their own projects through the late '90s and early 2000s. Both released solo albums, and Sermon partnered with Redman and Keith Murray as part of the Def Squad supergroup. Nevertheless, they also found time to continue performing together as EPMD, and 2008 saw them returning to the studio for We Mean Business. ~ John Bush
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Stations Featuring

    '80s Urban Music

    '80s Urban Music
    9 songs

    '80s Hip-Hop

    '80s Hip-Hop
    9 songs

    Underground Hip-Hop

    Underground Hip-Hop
    2 songs

    '90s Hip-Hop

    '90s Hip-Hop
    1 song

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Gold Digger
  3.   You Gots to Chill
  4.   So What Cha Sayin'
  5.   Strictly Business
  6.   Crossover
  7.   The Big Payback
  8.   Get the Bozack
  9.   Jane II
  10.   You're a Customer
  11.   Knick Knack Patty Wack
  12.   Symphony 2000
  13.   Let the Funk Flow
  14.   It's My Thang
  15.   Rampage
  16.   Jane
  17.   Hardcore
  18.   Head Banger
  19.   Please Listen to My Demo
  20.   I'm Housin'
  21.   Da Joint
  22.   Underground
  23.   Chill
  24.   U Got Shot
  25.   Symphony
  26.   Richter Scale
  27.   Mr. Bozack
  28.   I'm Mad
  29.   Funky Piano
  30.   Cummin' at Cha
  31.   Check 1, 2
  32.   Get Off the Bandwagon
  33.   The Steve Martin
  34.   Intro
  35.   Manslaughter
  36.   Nobody's Safe Chump
  37.   Boon Dox
  38.   Yo
  39.   What You Talkin'
  40.   They Tell Me
  41.   Run It
  42.   It's My Thing
  43.   Never Seen Before
  44.   You Had Too Much to Drink
  45.   You Gots 2 Chill '97
  46.   Who Killed Jane
  47.   The Truth
  48.   The Fan
  49.   Strictly Snappin' Necks
  50.   Rap Is Outa Control
  51.   Put On
  52.   Play the Next Man
  53.   Pioneers
  54.   Last Man Standing
  55.   K.I.M.
  56.   Jane 5
  57.   Jane 3
  58.   It's Going Down
  59.   It Wasn't Me, It Was the Fame
  60.   Hit Squad Heist
  61.   Give the People
  62.   Get Wit This
  63.   For My People
  64.   Dungeon Master
  65.   Draw
  66.   Do It Again
  67.   D.J. K La Boss
  68.   Can't Hear Nothing But the Music
  69.   Brothers on My Jock
  70.   Total Kaos
  71.   Apollo Interlude
  72.   Scratch Bring It Back (Part 2-Mic Doc)
  73.   U Can't
  74.   Serious
  75.   Roc-Da-Spot
  76.   Puttin' Work In
  77.   Never Defeat 'Em
  78.   Listen Up
  79.   Left 4 Dead
  80.   Blow
  81.   Actin' Up
  82.   The Funk
  83.   Skit
  84.   Right Now
  85.   Jane 6
  86.   Danger Zone
  87.   Hold Me Down
  88.   House Party
  89.   Intrigued
  90.   Who's Booty
  91.   Bac Stabbers
  92.   It's Time to Party