Last week, EPMD celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of their album, Business As Usual. The vaunted duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith recently spoke with Billboard about the album, as well as some exciting things they are working on, presently.
While albums like Strictly Business and Unfinished Business, are often considered the crown jewels of EPMD’s 7 LP catalog, Business As Usual would represent a new chapter for them, as they transitioned from their first record company, Sleeping Bag Records, to Def Jam, which was better established. It would also mark the first time they released a song with Redman, with their collabo, “Hardcore.” For many, it would serve as the introduction to the now legendary MC.
The album also included Erick and Parrish’s collaboration with Def Jam’s then reigning heavyweight, LL Cool J, on “Rampage.” In speaking with Complex, Sermon said of the song, “Russell Simmons told LL Cool J to get with EPMD. He was on with the ‘Pink Cookies’ thing, but Russell felt that he needed to be with EPMD. That’s why he came with us and got his swagger back. Nobody knows that part…I think ‘Rampage’ was dope. It was a record where LL and Parrish were secretly battling. People talk about that a lot. LL is a subliminal shot thrower. It turned out to be a great record.”
Now, as they have been throughout their career, Erick and Parrish are still all about business. They are making plans for celebrating this 25th anniversary, and would like to do so with a blockbuster tour. “We’re trying to put together the tour for Business As Usual,” Sermon told Billboard. “And do it really big where we have EPMD 25th Anniversary Business As Usual [tour] featuring Red & Meth, possibly Mobb Deep, Keith Murray. Possibly De La Soul.” PMD added, “We trying to get LL [Cool J] to come out support for ‘Rampage.’ Get Kanye [West] to come out for “Gold Digger” and support us.”
In equally exciting news, the pair of veteran MCs are also working on new music together. Currently, they are completing a song, but would like to do more. “Me and Parrish working on a new single right now,” said Sermon to Billboard. “Hopefully, we do something that’s dope and maybe even an EP. But like L said, ‘If you’re gonna do an EP, that’s four more songs until an album.’ You do an album [next].”