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EPMD: Pioneering the Golden Era of Hip-Hop – A Deep Dive into the Iconic Duo’s Legacy

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Arun Roy

Did you know that EPMD, the legendary hip-hop duo consisting of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, revolutionized rap music with their business-themed approach? Their iconic albums such as “Strictly Business,” “Unfinished Business,” “Back in Business,” and “Business as Usual” brought a unique flavor to the 80s hip hop scene, establishing them as pioneers in the genre.

Core Insights:

  • EPMD, composed of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, played a pivotal role in shaping the golden era of hip-hop.
  • Their business-themed approach to rap music set them apart from other artists of their time.
  • EPMD’s influential albums like “Strictly Business” and “Unfinished Business” showcased their unique style and innovative sound.
  • The duo’s impact on hip hop continues to be felt, inspiring future generations of artists in the genre.
  • EPMD’s legacy as pioneers of the golden era of hip hop is firmly established.

The Origins of Hip Hop: Birth in the Bronx

Hip hop, a cultural movement and form of expression that revolutionized the music industry, had its humble beginnings in the Bronx during the 1970s. It emerged as a powerful voice for the African American and Latino youth residing in economically disadvantaged areas. This vibrant genre of music would go on to shape the future of popular culture and inspire generations of artists.

Among the key figures responsible for the inception of hip hop is DJ Kool Herc, often referred to as the “Father of Hip Hop.” In the early days, Herc introduced a groundbreaking technique called the breakbeat. By isolating and looping instrumental sections of records, he created a rhythmic and danceable foundation that became the backbone of hip hop music.

Another influential figure from the Bronx was Grandmaster Flash. Known for his innovative DJing techniques, Flash pioneered the use of cutting and scratching records to create unique sounds and rhythms. These techniques quickly became integral to the art of DJing and played a crucial role in the development of hip hop as a genre.

Together, DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, along with many other talented individuals, laid the foundation for hip hop’s extraordinary rise to prominence. Their creativity and ingenuity set the stage for what would later become known as the golden era of hip hop.

The birth of hip hop in the Bronx was a revolutionary moment that would forever change the landscape of music. It was a movement rooted in the authenticity and creativity of rap pioneers, who drew inspiration from their urban surroundings and used music as a powerful platform for self-expression. The Bronx became the breeding ground for a cultural phenomenon that transcended borders and captivated the world.

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The Golden Age of Hip Hop: A Time of Creativity and Social Consciousness

The golden age of hip hop, which flourished from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, stands as a pivotal era characterized by explosive growth, unparalleled creativity, and an indelible impact on the genre. During this thriving period, hip hop experienced a renaissance with the emergence of diverse subgenres, including gangsta rap, conscious rap, and alternative hip hop, each contributing unique perspectives to the cultural landscape.

Iconic artists such as Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and N.W.A. elevated hip hop to new heights, setting the stage for the genre’s global domination. Their innovative music and boundary-pushing artistry defined the golden age and shaped the course of hip hop for years to come.

One of the defining features of the golden age was the increased emphasis on social consciousness within hip hop. Artists used their platforms to address pressing issues such as racism, inequality, and police brutality, inspiring dialogue and advocating for change. This era witnessed a fusion of music and activism, elevating hip hop beyond a mere art form and solidifying its role as a catalyst for social transformation.

The golden age also spawned a vibrant ecosystem of creative exploration, where artists pushed the boundaries of traditional rap music, experimenting with diverse sounds, sampling techniques, and lyrical styles. This period saw the rise of innovative producers, such as DJ Premier and Dr. Dre, who sculpted the sonic landscape of the era, paving the way for future generations.

Throughout this era, hip hop went through a transformative journey, capturing the hearts and minds of millions while building a platform for underrepresented voices. The golden age remains a testament to the power of music as a catalyst for change, showcasing how hip hop evolved from a local phenomenon to a global force that continues to shape culture and inspire generations.

Golden Age of Hip Hop
Source: Hip Hop Golden Age

Influential Artists of the Golden Age

ArtistGenre/SubgenreNotable Songs/Albums
Run-DMCGolden age hip hop“Raising Hell,” “Walk This Way”
LL Cool JGolden age hip hop“Mama Said Knock You Out,” “I Need Love”
Beastie BoysAlternative hip hop“Licensed to Ill,” “Paul’s Boutique”
Public EnemyConscious rap“Fight the Power,” “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”
N.W.A.Gangsta rap“Straight Outta Compton,” “F**k tha Police”

EPMD’s Impact on Hip Hop

EPMD, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, left an indelible mark on the hip hop genre during the golden era. Their innovative sound and unique approach to rap music influenced a generation of artists and solidified their position as pioneers.

The duo’s blend of hard-hitting beats and clever lyricism set them apart from their contemporaries. With albums like “Strictly Business” and “Unfinished Business,” EPMD showcased their ability to shape the sound and style of rap during this influential era.

EPMD’s legacy continues to resonate in hip hop today. Their impact can be heard in the music of countless artists who were inspired by their groundbreaking work. They are recognized as influential figures in the genre, with their contributions shaping the future of rap music.

EPMD’s Impact on Hip HopInfluential Aspects
Innovative soundEPMD introduced a unique sound characterized by hard-hitting beats and clever lyricism, which became a signature style of the golden era.
Shaping the style of rapThe duo’s albums, including “Strictly Business” and “Unfinished Business,” showcased their innovative approach to rap, influencing the genre’s future direction.
Inspiring future artistsEPMD’s legacy continues to influence artists and fans alike, solidifying their position as pioneers of the golden era of hip hop.

EPMD’s Discography: From Strictly Business to Business as Usual

EPMD’s discography showcases a collection of iconic albums that have left a lasting impact on the hip hop genre. From their groundbreaking debut, “Strictly Business,” to their later releases like “Unfinished Business,” “Back in Business,” and “Business as Usual,” EPMD’s music has solidified their position as influential artists in the industry.

Strictly Business: This classic album, released in 1988, introduced the world to EPMD’s unique style and catchy beats. Filled with memorable tracks like “You Gots to Chill” and the title track “Strictly Business,” it set the tone for their future success.

Unfinished Business: Following the success of their debut, EPMD released “Unfinished Business” in 1989. This album continued to showcase their signature sound, blending hard-hitting beats with their signature lyricism. Tracks like “So Wat Cha Sayin'” and “Get the Bozack” further cemented EPMD’s status as trailblazers in the hip hop scene.

Back in Business: In 1997, after a brief hiatus, EPMD returned with “Back in Business.” This album proved that the duo hadn’t lost a step, as they effortlessly picked up where they left off. Songs like “Da Joint” and “Never Seen Before” demonstrated their timeless appeal and ability to deliver hard-hitting rhymes.

Business as Usual: EPMD’s final studio album, “Business as Usual,” was released in 1990. This project showcased the duo’s evolution while staying true to their roots. Tracks like “Gold Digger” and “Rampage” displayed their versatility and ability to captivate audiences with their unique style.

AlbumRelease YearNotable Tracks
Strictly Business1988“Strictly Business,” “You Gots to Chill”
Unfinished Business1989“So Wat Cha Sayin’,” “Get the Bozack”
Back in Business1997“Da Joint,” “Never Seen Before”
Business as Usual1990“Gold Digger,” “Rampage”

Each EPMD album contributed something unique to their discography, further establishing their place in the history of hip hop. Whether it was their catchy beats, inventive lyrics, or their ability to push boundaries, EPMD’s influence can still be felt in contemporary rap music.

EPMD’s Business-Themed Approach to Rap

EPMD, comprised of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, stood out in the realm of rap music with their distinctive business-themed approach. They skillfully intertwined elements of entrepreneurship and street-smart business tactics into their lyrics, creating a unique style that set them apart from their contemporaries.

The duo’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit resonated with fans, solidifying their reputation as pioneers in the genre. EPMD’s music not only showcased their lyrical prowess but also highlighted their business acumen, making them trailblazers in the hip-hop industry.

Through their songs, EPMD explored various aspects of business, employing metaphors and analogies to convey their message. They cleverly utilized business terminology to illustrate their hustle, ambition, and determination, connecting with listeners who shared similar aspirations.

Redefining Rap with a Fresh Perspective

EPMD’s business-themed approach brought a fresh perspective to the rap landscape, challenging traditional notions of what hip-hop music could be. Their lyrics mirrored the cutthroat nature of the business world, reflecting the realities of their own experiences and the streets they grew up on.

“You see, the rap is financially designed To straighten your mind and to expand mines Plans I make attract a primarily And Poindexter folks labeled me the minority”

An Iconic Legacy

EPMD’s business-themed approach not only made them stand out during their era but also created a lasting impact on the genre. Their innovation extended beyond the beats and rhymes, introducing a new wave of rap music that combined artistic expression with a business mindset.

The duo’s unique approach has influenced countless artists who followed in their footsteps. Their legacy continues to inspire aspiring musicians, showcasing the power of combining creativity with an entrepreneurial spirit.

EPMD’s Enduring Influence

The enduring influence of EPMD’s business-themed approach can be seen in the music industry today. Their groundbreaking innovation paved the way for future artists to explore unconventional themes in rap and challenge societal norms.

EPMD’s impact on hip-hop culture remains relevant, and their music continues to resonate with fans worldwide. Their fusion of rap and business principles has solidified their place in the history of the genre, leaving an indelible mark that will be remembered for generations to come.

EPMD’s Business-Themed ApproachKey Features
Incorporation of entrepreneurship and street-smart business tactics in lyricsEPMD’s unique style and innovation resonated with fans
Use of business metaphors and analogies to convey their hustle and ambitionEPMD’s lyrics showcased their business acumen
Challenging traditional notions of hip-hop musicThe duo redefined rap with a fresh perspective
Enduring influence on the genreEPMD’s legacy continues to inspire aspiring musicians

EPMD’s Influence on Future Generations of Hip Hop

The influence of EPMD extends far beyond their own era, leaving an indelible mark on future generations of hip hop artists. Their innovative sound, business-themed approach, and clever lyricism have served as a source of inspiration for countless rappers and producers in the genre. EPMD’s legacy continues to resonate in the hip hop community, fueling the creative fire of aspiring artists.

EPMD’s unique style and knack for crafting memorable beats have made a lasting impact on the evolution of hip hop. Their ability to blend hard-hitting rhythms with intricate wordplay has forever shaped the genre’s landscape. As the pioneers of the golden era of hip hop, EPMD introduced a level of creativity and artistry that has inspired and influenced generations to come.

“EPMD’s influence on hip hop cannot be overstated. Their music pushed the boundaries of the genre and set a new standard for innovation. They showed us that hip hop could be both business-minded and artistic, paving the way for future generations of artists to explore new possibilities.” – DJ Scratch

EPMD’s legacy lies not only in the impact they made during their prime, but also in their enduring influence on the hip hop culture. Their music continues to be sampled, referenced, and celebrated by both veteran and emerging artists. EPMD’s discography is like a blueprint for success in the hip hop industry, serving as a testament to their timeless artistry.

EPMD’s Influence on Future Generations

ArtistNotable Work
Kendrick Lamar“good kid, m.A.A.d city”
J. Cole“2014 Forest Hills Drive”
Drake“Take Care”
Kanye West“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”

EPMD’s influence can be felt in the works of acclaimed artists such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, and Kanye West. These artists have not only drawn inspiration from EPMD’s iconic sound but have also embodied their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to pushing the boundaries of the genre.

In brief, EPMD’s impact on hip hop extends far beyond their own era. Their innovative sound, business-themed approach, and clever lyricism have influenced and inspired future generations of artists. EPMD’s legacy serves as a reminder of the enduring power of their music and their instrumental role in shaping the golden era of hip hop.

EPMD’s Collaborations and Solo Projects

Moreover to their work as a duo, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith of EPMD have also ventured into successful solo careers and collaborated with other notable artists. These collaborations and solo projects highlight their versatility and ability to excel both as a group and as individual artists.

Erick Sermon’s Collaborations

Erick Sermon, known for his distinctive production style and smooth flow, has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry. His musical partnerships have resulted in timeless tracks that showcase his creative prowess and ability to adapt to different sounds. Notable collaborations include:

  1. Erick Sermon ft. Marvin Gaye – “Music”
  2. Erick Sermon ft. Redman, Keith Murray – “Rappers Delight”
  3. Erick Sermon ft. Too Short, Devin The Dude – “Buy You Some”
  4. Erick Sermon ft. Busta Rhymes – “Music”

Parrish Smith’s Solo Projects

Parrish Smith, also known as PMD, has established himself as a formidable solo artist, releasing albums that showcase his unique lyrical style and storytelling abilities. His solo projects have solidified his standing in the industry and further demonstrated his talents beyond EPMD. Some of Parrish Smith’s notable solo projects include:

  • Parrish Smith – “Shade Business”
  • Parrish Smith – “Business Mentality”
  • Parrish Smith – “The Awakening”
  • Parrish Smith – “Business is Business”

The solo projects of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith not only highlight their individual skills but also serve as testaments to their lasting impact on the hip hop scene.

Erick Sermon’s CollaborationsParrish Smith’s Solo Projects
“Music” ft. Marvin Gaye“Shade Business”
“Rappers Delight” ft. Redman, Keith Murray“Business Mentality”
“Buy You Some” ft. Too Short, Devin The Dude“The Awakening”
“Music” ft. Busta Rhymes“Business is Business”

The table above summarizes some of Erick Sermon’s notable collaborations and Parrish Smith’s solo projects, showcasing the breadth of their musical endeavors outside of EPMD. These creative endeavors illustrate EPMD’s ability to thrive both as a duo and as individual artists, further solidifying their influential status in hip hop.

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EPMD’s Cultural Impact and Enduring Legacy

EPMD, the iconic hip hop duo, has left an indelible cultural impact and an enduring legacy in the genre. During the golden era of hip hop, their contributions resonated with fans of all ages and continue to influence the music of countless artists who followed in their footsteps.

EPMD’s influence can be heard in the beats, lyrics, and overall style of the hip hop landscape. Their unique blend of hard-hitting rhythms and clever wordplay set them apart from their peers and solidified their status as pioneers.

“EPMD’s music is timeless and relatable. Their ability to capture the essence of hip hop while delivering compelling stories and messages is a testament to their enduring legacy.” – Hip Hop enthusiast

The enduring legacy of EPMD resides not only in their influential albums but also in their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to rap. Their business-themed lyrics showcased their astute understanding of the industry and further solidified their place during the golden era of hip hop.

EPMD’s mark on the genre is forever etched in the history of hip hop, serving as an inspiration for aspiring artists and a testament to the power of their influence. Their cultural impact continues to transcend generations, proving the timeless and universal appeal of their music.

EPMD’s undeniable influence on hip hop can be traced through their enduring legacy, and their cultural impact is felt to this day. Their music has become a touchstone for fans, artists, and enthusiasts, solidifying their position as true icons of the genre.

EPMD’s Continued Relevance and Future Projects

EPMD, the iconic hip hop duo, continues to maintain its relevance and impact in the industry, even after dominating the golden era of rap music. With a dedicated fan base eagerly awaiting their next moves, EPMD remains a driving force in shaping the genre and pushing its boundaries.

EPMD’s ability to adapt and evolve with the ever-changing landscape of hip hop is a testament to their longevity and creative prowess. Their innovative style and business-minded approach continue to resonate with both seasoned fans and new listeners alike.

As EPMD explores new musical territories, the hip hop community eagerly anticipates their future projects. With each release, EPMD has consistently delivered groundbreaking music that reflects their commitment to pushing the boundaries of the genre.

Whether it’s through solo endeavors or collaborative efforts, EPMD’s future projects will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on hip hop. Their willingness to embrace new sounds and ideas positions them as influencers and trendsetters in the industry.

EPMD’s continued relevance assures their fans that they are not ready to slow down anytime soon. Their passion for hip hop and their commitment to creating meaningful music are evident in every project they undertake.

EPMD’s future projects will undoubtedly shape the evolution of hip hop and solidify their position as pioneers in the genre.

“EPMD’s influential music has stood the test of time and continues to inspire future generations of hip hop artists and fans.”

Stay tuned for EPMD’s exciting future projects and witness how they redefine the boundaries of hip hop once again.

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Final Remarks

In the end, EPMD, comprising of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, played a crucial role in pioneering the golden era of hip hop. Their unique style, business-themed approach, and influential music left an indelible mark on the genre. With albums like “Strictly Business,” “Unfinished Business,” “Back in Business,” and “Business as Usual,” EPMD’s impact on hip hop is undeniable.

EPMD’s legacy continues to inspire and influence new generations of hip hop artists. Their innovative sound, clever lyricism, and entrepreneurial spirit have served as a blueprint for many aspiring rappers and producers. As true legends of the genre, EPMD’s contribution to the golden era of hip hop solidifies their place in its history.

As we reflect on the rich heritage of hip hop, EPMD stands as a testament to the creativity, social consciousness, and cultural impact of the golden era. Their enduring legacy serves as a reminder of the power of music to shape and transcend generations. EPMD’s influence will undoubtedly continue to resonate with hip hop enthusiasts for years to come.


FAQ

Who is EPMD?

EPMD is a legendary hip-hop duo consisting of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith.

What albums did EPMD release?

EPMD released several iconic albums, including “Strictly Business,” “Unfinished Business,” “Back in Business,” and “Business as Usual.”

What is EPMD’s contribution to hip hop?

EPMD played a pivotal role in shaping the golden era of hip hop and introduced a unique business-themed approach to rap music.

How did EPMD influence hip hop during the golden era?

EPMD’s unique style, hard-hitting beats, and clever lyricism had a significant impact on shaping the sound and style of rap music at the time.

Which EPMD albums are considered classics?

“Strictly Business” and “Unfinished Business” are widely regarded as classic EPMD albums.

What is EPMD’s unique approach to rap music?

EPMD incorporated elements of entrepreneurship and street-smart business tactics into their lyrics, setting them apart from other artists.

How did EPMD inspire future hip hop artists?

EPMD’s innovative sound, business-themed approach, and clever lyricism have influenced countless rappers and producers who followed in their footsteps.

What solo projects and collaborations have Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith been involved in?

Both Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith have had successful solo careers and have collaborated with notable artists in the industry.

What is EPMD’s cultural impact and legacy in hip hop?

EPMD’s contributions during the golden era of hip hop continue to resonate with fans and inspire new generations of hip hop artists.

How has EPMD remained relevant in the industry?

EPMD’s ability to adapt and evolve with the times has ensured their continued relevance and longevity in hip hop.

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