Erick Sermon & Parrish Smith Are Still In Business. They Have An EPMD Sneaker (Video)
More than 30 years ago, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith formed EPMD. From dropping some of the most influential tracks in Hip-Hop history to surviving periods of breakup, the E and P are still together, still in business, and currently celebrating their 30-year anniversary in style.
The Brentwood, Long Island duo (along with group co-founder, DJ Diamond J) sat down with Los Angeles, California’s radio station 935 KDAY to discuss everything from EPMD’s West Coast influence to the upside of the streaming music model.
After one of Rap’s highest-profile breakups of the mid-1990s, E and P discussed mending their group with 1997’s Back In Business album. “Tupac had died, and Biggie died. So we figured that since the [N.W.A.] breakup was so hard [on the culture], that us getting back together would be something special,” Erick says to KDAY’s Noah Ayala. “It did work for the moment,” adds E around 8:00, referring to the Def Jam group’s fifth consecutive gold LP. “Ever since ’97, we’ve just been doin’ shows.” Both E and P say that Back In Business is a favorite of the “young boys” in EPMD’s fan-base.
Sermon points out that when E and P separated, DJ Diamond J successfully toured with Beyoncé and Prince. “This was a dream come again to have the original [EPMD DJ] back,” Sermon says. In recent years, DJ Scratch publicly stepped away from the group he had DJ’d and co-produced since the late 1980s.
Quite like their comeback LP, EPMD is back in business with a brand new release outside of music. The double-threat MC/producers have a treat for Hip-Hop and sneaker heads alike with the release of their special edition Ewing Athletics basketball kicks. “We have the new EPMD t-shirt at Nordstroms, and the new EPMD sneaker that we’re promoting, too. That’s in Foot Locker [by] the first week in August,” the Green-Eyed Bandit campaigns. “The sneaker is dope!”
“It’s nice too, and it’s the Strictly Business theme,” says PMD, as Erick points out out the matching yellow and light blue colorway. “They are the dopest kicks I think I’ve ever seen in my life,” adds DJ Diamond on the new footwear with the brand named after the former New York Knicks star.
Previously, EPMD has worked extensively with Hip-Hop home decor company, Def Rugs. A decade ago, they also had a partnership with DC Shoes on a skateboard-inspired sneaker.
EPMD is reportedly at work on a collaborative concept album with other classic duos. Dynamic Duos: Big Business. Last October, the pair announced that the LP is coming through JAY-Z’s Roc Nation is slated to feature Black Star, Salt n’ Pepa, Mobb Deep, M.O.P., and Capone-N-Noreaga. In 2017, PMD released a solo LP, Busine$$ Mentality.
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads‘ look at A Tribe Called Quest’s sneaker and other Hip-Hop footwear ventures: