Redman, Erick Sermon & Keith Murray Freestyle To The Def Over “Who Shot Ya” (Audio)
1998 was arguably the strongest year of the East Coast’s resurgence during the West Coast Gangsta Rap-dominated decade. Radio stations across the map, and music video channels BET and MTV, were putting a diverse mix of music from New York City representatives DMX, N.O.R.E., Nas, Big Pun, Cam’ron, Ma$e, Biggie Smalls, JAY-Z, and Beastie Boys in heavy rotation on their playlists during that year.
Another Tri-State area Rap crew that had rising stock in the game was Def Squad. Coming off the strength of their seminal solo albums earlier that decade, plus a critically acclaimed remake of “Rapper’s Delight,” the crew’s triumvirate Keith Murray, Redman, and Erick Sermon were riding high in 1998 touring in support of Def Squad’s official album release El Niño.
In a series of promo spots, they stopped by legendary British DJ Tim Westwood’s mix show to perform an exclusive freestyle. Clocking in at 9 minutes and 30 seconds, you can hear E-Double, Funk Doctor Spot, and the SAT word-hawking Murray go in off the dome and some dope written raps over four instrumentals including Biggie Smalls’ classic “Who Shot Ya.” As they find their pocket through “Rhymes Galore” and “Eric B. Is President,” Tim does the veteran trio a favor, and throws on “Full Cooperation.” The three MCs pass the mic, and freak the Funk as a set up to an album that sadly remains the only one in their catalog.