EPMD, a duo that has a very good track record dating back to their classic debut, 1988's "Strictly Business", a duo responsible for familiar artists such as Das Efx, Redman, Keith Murray, K-Solo, etc. They have certainly made their mark on hip hop over the years, and even if they don't release another album together, their discography speaks for itself. Let's take a look back.
1988 and 1989 were two of the best years in hip hop history, and Erick and Parrish were two of many artists who were thriving creatively at the time. Both albums are undisputed classics, and you don't find too many artists who follow up the first album with an equally classic second one, especially one year apart.
Favorite songs across both albums
*Strictly Business (You Gots To Chill, You're A Customer, It's My Thing, Let The Funk Flow, & the title track)
*Unfinished Business (So Wat Cha Sayin, Please Listen To My Demo, Total Kaos, Get The Bozack, & It Wasn't Me, It Was The Fame)
Rating- 5 stars for both
1990 was another good year for hip hop, and EPMD was still on top of their game with their 3rd album, introducing the world to Redman with his show stealing verse on "Hardcore". A much needed break came after the release of that album leading into "Business Never Personal". We got one of the greatest posse cuts ever in "Headbanger", and a classic single in "Crossover" (their biggest record), but tensions amounted shortly after the release of this album, and in what was sad news for hip hop at the time, they went their separate ways after this album. Yes it was business as usual, but the "business" made things "personal".
Favorite songs across both albums
*Business As Usual (Gold Digger, Hardcore, Rampage, Give The People, & Brothers On My Jock)
*Business Never Personal (Headbanger, Crossover, Cummin At Cha, It's Going Down, & Boon Dox)
Rating- 4.5 stars for Business As Usual (originally I had this one at 5), 4 stars for Business Never Personal
One of the best moments in 97 was when EPMD reunited, and I was excited, especially after I saw the video to "Da Joint". It was a good comeback album, but they were certainly capable of more, respectively. I only heard "Out Of Business" one time, and to be fair, the sole highlight on that album was "Symphony 2000". Back in business in 97, only to be "out of business" in 99, and it didn't seem like they were motivated at all on the "Out Of Business" album.
*5 favorite songs on Back In Business- Richter Scale, Never Seen Before (original & remix), Da Joint, and K.I.M.
*4 favorite songs on Out Of Business- Symphony 2000, Pioneers, Symphony, and Rap Is Still Outta Control
Rating for Back In Business- 3.5 stars
|Update: I went ahead and added "Out Of Business" and the next album to my collection to complete the set.|
I heard this album once with the intention of buying it. It was decent, but it didn't grab me enough to make a purchase, and I was close too. If this is their last album together as a group, that's not a good way to go out on, but it could be an "unofficial last album".
On the solo tip, they were not as successful like they were when they were together for their first 5 albums. Although Erick Sermon had a decent solo career (don't sleep on "No Pressure" from 93 and "Double Or Nothing" from 95) and a very good track record as a producer, PMD was largely ignored during his solo contributions ("Shade Business" was as inconsistent as they come, "Business Is Business" showed a little promise, but was HUGELY lacking in many areas, & "The Awakening" woke up NO ONE and it largely went unnoticed). Overall, they'll be best known for Erick Parrish Making Dollars and no one can take that from them!!!