EPMD is in Town

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When I type that line, I can’t help but think of their song “Strictly Snappin’ Necks” from the first album “Strictly Business,” released in 1987. I was late on EPMD and didn’t get into them until the following summer, but they are one of my favorite artists of all time.

Originally from Brentwood, Long Island, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith formed the group EPMD (Erick and Parrish Making Dollars) and made a huge impact with their independently released debut, which featured “You Gots to Chill,” “I’m Housin'” and “Strictly Business.” Their unique vocals and funny lyrics made the most of classic rock backing tracks that included Clapton’s “I Shot the Sherrif,” “Rock Steady” by Aretha and “Jungle Boogie” by Kool and the Gang on the three songs listed above, respectively. They also sampled the helicopter from Pink Floyd The Wall, so they had a great appeal to classic rock fans.

Their label at the time of release was Sleeping Bag/Fresh, which was located at 1974 Broadway (according to their song “Please Listen to My Demo”), since razed for the Sony IMAX Theatre.

Label staffers Juggy Gayles and his son Ron Resnick are also mentioned in the song, one of the few records that mentions a promotion guy. Juggy was a legend.

EPMD made two more albums before breaking up to go solo in the early 90s. They have never achieved much on their own, but had very lucrative deals, Parrish with PMD Records through RCA and Erick on Dreamworks.

They reunited for “Out of Business” a greatest hits album that re-recorded all their early hits which had been retained by Sleeping Bag (or whoever bought the assets), which is when I met them and had them sign my albums (see “Unfinished Business” at left).

Their continued influence is still strong, as evidenced by Derek Jeter using “You Gots to Chill” as he approached the plate this past summer.

EPMD are releasing a new album tomorrow titled “We Mean Business” and will be performing in New York tonight to celebrate yet another comeback. I hope the album is great and that Erick and Parrish Make Dollars!

EPMD will also appear at an in store tomorrow that will be held at Fat Beats:

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