What’s left to be said about EPMD? Besides being one of first MC’s that actually made it cool to use your government name, their track record includes six albums and over 20 years of legendary Hip-Hop status.
But for the past couple years, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith’s love/hate relationship had them giving each the silent treatment as usual.
As we enter another year, the duo that brought the world ‘You Gots To Chill,’ ‘So Wat Cha Sayin,’’ ‘GoldDigger,’ ‘Head Banger,’ and never ending saga known as the ‘Jane’ series reunites for the seventh time around with We Mean Business.
The two can easily be thought of as Hip-Hop’s Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney due to the fact that they’re literally the last of a dying breed; who are still capable of creating their own sound without worrying about BDS spins.
They stick to the “If it ain’t broke” mentality by having the “Green Eyed Bandit” handle the production duties, but switch it up with a hint of 9th Wonder. The album gets underway with ‘Puttin’ Work In’ featuring Raekwon.
Over a well-placed violin loop, all three rhyme veterans prove that they have more than enough left in the tank. From there, they throw church organ in the mix on ‘What You Talkin’ featuring Havoc.
Erick Sermon starts things off with his metaphor-heavy rhymes, “Comin’ for ya, the Oscar De La Hoya, the Golden Boy/I’m that dude, don’t believe, I’ll show you boy/ask Destiny’s Child, I’m not soldier boy” and Parrish Smith ends it with his straight-to-the-point talk, “I be killin’ it when I’m feelin’ it/straight drillin’ it when I’m peelin’ it/comin’ through in the Tahoe truck four-wheelin’ it.”
‘Roc Da Spot’ includes elements of the funk-influenced sound that people are accustomed to hearing from E-Double’s production. ‘Blow’ gives listeners more of the vintage EPMD sound with the tandem bouncing off each other perfectly, while the voice sample of woman screaming echoes in the background.
‘Run It’ sounds more like an old school class reunion of sorts, as it features someone else who also has meaningful letters in his name for Hip-Hop, who happens to be KRS-One.
Method Man joins in the fray on ‘Never Defeat ‘Em,’ and shows that he hasn’t forgotten where the booth is, and uses is signature rhyme pattern wisely, “Nothin’ to lose cause I got nothin’ to prove, I’m rugged/who be like f*ck it, If I front in my shoes, you love it.”
9th Wonder’s unmistakable snares take center stage on ‘Left 4 Dead’ featuring Brooklyn newcomer Skyzoo—as they pay tribute to all of the people who lost their lives in the hook (including Hip-Hop as a whole).
The rest of the album contains authentic Hip-Hop material like, ‘Jane’ (of course), ‘They Tell Me’ featuring Keith Murray, ‘Back Stabba,’ and ‘Yo’ featuring Redman; while songs like ‘Listen Up,’ could have used a little more tweaking before making it to the final cut.
EPMD’s We Mean Business won’t break any sales records (especially in this economy), but for those who yearn for that throwback sound in a world filled with Auto-Tuned voices, listening to Erick Sermon’s lisp-flow with the combination of Parrish Smith’s monotone vocals puts their newest business installment right up your alley.
California-bred emcee Murs is finally starting to gain some mainstream fame before his third major album, Murs for President, drops. Murs is currently on tour with Rock the Bells, and is preparing the afforementioned album for a September release on Warner Bros. Records. To up the hype a little bit more, Murs and longtime collaborator 9th Wonder decided to release a 10-track album for free online. The album is entitled Sweet Lord and is exclusively produced by 9th Wonder. If you don’t know 9th, he’s worked with Jay-Z, Little Brother, Buckshot and plenty of other wordsmiths over the years. Check out Sweet Lord here, and get ready for Murs for President. I’ve heard the album, and it’s absolutely ridiculous. Look for the review right here sometime next week.
Jay-Z’s been the most consistent hit-maker in hip-hop for over a decade now. Through retirements and comebacks, Jay is still making music and is slated to drop three more albums over the next ten years through Roc Nation. According to Timbaland, he’ll be the sole producer on Jay’s upcoming project, and he believes he can bring Jay an entire album of “Big Pimpin”-esque tracks. Timbo also told MTV, “He wants me to do the whole thing this time around. I’mma make it a classic too. You better believe it.” Though some die-hard fans of Jay’s may be a little hesitant of the collaboration and would rather hear 9th Wonder or Pharrell for an entire album, they can rest assured Jay has always had a great ear for production.
The album won’t be released until at least the 4th quarter, according to Timbo, so while you wait check out the throwback video for “Big Pimpin.”