PMD Discusses Yo! MTV Raps’ Ed Lover Being One Of The Best Freestylers On The Planet (Audio)

From its inception in 1988 to its final episode in 1995, Yo! MTV Raps was a top springboard for Hip-Hop artists. It was an opportunity to showcase skills and unique styles on one of the largest platforms available to the genre.

In an interview with HipHopDX, Parrish “PMD” Smith spoke at length about the show’s significance to EPMD’s career and success. “When you was doing your music, when you was putting the groups together, that was one of the top goals,” Smith stated. “You wanted to put out a Hip-Hop song good enough for your video to make it on Yo! MTV Raps.” 

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In the interest of skills and great television, the show often kept its guests on edge. Rappers could not afford to look unprepared during an appearance if ever asked by the hosts to kick a freestyle. If their impromptu rhyme skills were not on point, there was a strong chance they could be upstaged by the “C’Mon Son” creator in an on-air rhyme cypher. Smith doubled down on this with glowing praise to Ed Lover as one of Rap’s greatest freestylers to ever do it off the dome.

“Those guys [were] the real deal, and they were serious,” PMD opined about Ed Lover and Doctor Dré’s stature in the Hip-Hop community. “No matter how much money you had or how many records you sold, you knew when you went on that show to have respect. Because first of all, Ed was one of the nicest freestylers on the planet. If you went on there not right, promoting your album, there’s a chance you could have got bodied in the freestyle by Ed.”

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Outside of Yo!, Ed Lover regularly spit his freestyles on DJ mixtapes during the 1990s. Tony Touch, Doo-Wop, and Sway & King Tech projects featured the cutting wit and improvisational swagger of the Queens, New Yorker. His bars even made the Wake Up Show hosts’ 2001 sophomore freestyle compilation.

Lover’s freestyles continued after his Yo! MTV Raps tenure. In 1996, he linked with “Bouncemaster” Doo Wop for a punchline-peppered freestyle to call out Rap peers on lack of originality, accuse everybody of biting Biggie Smalls, and offer a solution to the looming-West Coast and East Coast beef.

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In recent times, Ed was down to demonstrate his off-the-dome skills while on MTV’s Rap Fix Live. He rocked in-the-moment rhymes alongside N.O.R.E., Ab-Soul, and Kid Ink with the acapella finesse.

On June 1, one of Rap’s landmark TV shows will be commemorating its 30th anniversary with an all-star lineup of legendary artists in a concert called Yo MTV Raps: 30th Anniversary Experience at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Artists who are slated to make appearances at the show include Big Daddy Kane, The Juice Crew, Eric B. & Rakim, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Brand Nubian, Nice & Smooth, ONYX, Black Sheep, Das-EFX, Special Ed, Yo-Yo, Kid Capri, and EPMD.

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Last year, PMD released Business Mentality.