epmdWhat’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 onLeft 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.

Rating: 3.0

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Cornerstone Mixes Up the Game

 |  July 31, 2008
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Cornerstone Promotions has been instrumental in the advancement of so many artists careers – Kanye West and newcomers Wale and Kid Cudi to name a few. Cornerstone has also worked closely with Fader Magazine in finding the newest, freshest talent and either promoting their mixtapes or parties to further their promotion. Basically, Cornerstone helps bring quality music to devoted fans of all genres of music.  One of the most impressive things Cornerstone has done in recent years, however, is creating their Cornerstone Mixtape Series, currently sponsored by Levi’s. The mixtape series just saw the release of its 106th installment, and features the hottest DJs in hip-hop creating mixes of the best new songs from various artists. After having everyone from 9th Wonder to DJ Green Lantern to DJ Premier host the mixtape, Cornerstone is furthering their push of great music to knowledgeable hip-hop crowd. Cornerstone Mixtape #106 features everyone from Teyana Taylor to KRS-One and Q-Tip, and can be downloaded below.   Cornerstone Mixtape #106

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