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.
Gotta shout out my man Buck for this piece of info. Looks like while sitting in a jail cell one half of Mobb Deep, namely Prodigy has time to deal with the stuff that he might normally have just turned a blind eye too. Anyhow here is his response to a recent piece on SOHH. Prodigy is obviously not impressed in what the ‘writer’ had to say. To read the original story which Prodigy posted and the analysis by SOHH check here
SOHH IS TALKIN’ RECKLESS
YEP, YEP…… WHAT’S GOING ON OUT THERE IN FREEDOM TOWN? I HOPE
EVERYBODY IS DOING WELL. THIS BLOG RIGHT HERE IS WRITTEN FOR SOMEBODY
NAMED “RECKLESS” ON SOHH.COM.
BUT, SINCE THE ENTIRE PLANET EARTH CAN READ THIS, I FIGURE I’D GREET
YOU ALL WITH WELL WISHES.
O.K., THIS PERSON “RECKLESS” CLAIMS THAT I’M TRYING TO “JUSTIFY POOR
SALES OF HNIC PT.2″ BY WRITING MY BLOG ENTITLED “SALES ARE DOWN? NO..
FAN’S ARE CLOWNS.”
ANYBODY WITH A DROP OF COMMON SENSE CAN READ MY BLOG AND SEE THAT I’M
EXPLAINING HOW I’M CONTENT WITH MY POSITION IN LIFE AND I’M NOT
CHASING SALES. I CLEARLY STATED THAT–LESS IS MORE AND THAT MOBB
DEEP/PRODIGY SUPPORTERS ARE NOT FANATICS OR LUNATICS. THE PEOPLE WHO
PURCHASE OUR PRODUCT(S) FROM DAY ONE ARE OUR SUPPORTERS. THE PEOPLE
WHO CHOOSE TO RIDE WITH US ARE A SPECIAL BREED OF PEOPLE THEY ARE VERY
AWARE OF BULLSHIT CLOWNS LIKE “RECKLESS.” YOU DAMN RIGHT, I DON’T WANT
FANS. FROM DAY ONE, MY MUSIC HAS BEEN AND IS FOR CONSCIOUS PEOPLE WITH
INTELLIGENCE WHO ARE AHEAD OF THEIR TIME. YES, LOTS OF TIME HAS GONE
BY SINCE OUR SONG ‘EYE 4 AN EYE.” THAT’S PRECISELY THE REASON WHY WE
ARE TO BE HIGHLY RESPECTED. LOOK HOW LONG WE LAST. WE RUN LAPS
AROUND RAPPERS CAREERS.
SOHH RECKLESS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE SKY.
RECKLESS SEEMS TO THINK THAT I SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT A PICTURE OF
ME AT 8 YEARS OLD WITH A MIKE JACKSON JACKET ON. TO QUOTE RECKLESS I
“SUFFERED AN IMMEASURABLE AMOUNT OF EMBARRASSMENT.” RECKLESS, YOU
SEE. YOU AND MANY OTHERS HAVE BEEN LIED TO BY J.Z…. BALLERINA? WHERE?
WHEN? HOW? PLEASE, SHOW ME THIS MAGICAL MYSTERY PICTURE!!! SCRATCH
THAT, WE WANNA SEE YOU RECKLESS??? OR ARE YOU A KEYBOARD THUG??? SHOW
YA FACE, SO PEOPLE CAN IDENTIFY YOU. THAT IS, WHEN AND IF YOU’RE EVER
OUT AND ABOUT. THE ENTIRE PLANET KNOWS WHAT I LOOK LIKE. I CAN’T
HIDE BEHIND A COMPUTER SCREEN. I GOTTA TOUCH EVERY HOOD ON THE FACE
OF THE EARTH TO PERFORM AND SPREAD MY MESSAGE. ANYBODY CAN TOUCH ME,
SNUFF ME, STAB ME, CLAP ME, OR REACH OUT AND GIVE ME LOVE.
PRODIGY MOVES AMONGST THE SHADOWS OF THE VALLEY OF DEATH AND FEARS NO
EVIL. WHAT ABOUT RECKLESS? FROM WHAT I CAN SEE, RECKLESS IS COMPUTER
SOLD OUT TO G-UNIT??? WRONG, WE MADE A VERY LUCRATIVE DEAL WITH
G-UNIT JUST LIKE WE MADE DEALS WITH ISLAND, LOUD, BMG, SONY, COLUMBIA,
JIVE AND SO ON.. LOST HALF OF OUR LUNATIC FANS? I SHOULD HOPE SO.
WHO WANTS THOSE? OUR LAST ALBUM “BLOOD MONEY” IS GOLD, WHICH MEANS
OUR SUPPORTERS THAT HAVE BEEN DOWN WITH US FROM DAY ONE ARE STILL DOWN
WITH US NOW.
I’LL BE HOME TO GET WITH YOU IN A HEARTBEAT, SO HOW BOUT YOU GROW A
BACKBONE AND REVEAL YOURSELF TO THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY NOW THAT YOU
CALL YOURSELF CHALLENGING MY INTELLIGENCE. WE ALL WANNA SEE IF YOU
GOT THE HEART TO SHOW YA FACE OR STAY A COWARD.
I GUESS WE’RE ALL ABOUT TO FIND OUT.
TO ALL MY SUPPORTERS, KEEP UP THE GOOD LOOK AND I PROMISE TO DO THE SAME.
TO ALL YALL FANATICS, IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF BIG PUN “I DON’T KNOW
YOU MAAAAANN.. GO THAT WAY.”
WAKE UP, CLEAN UP AND STAND UP!!!!