A Look Back at EPMD

Erick Parrish Makin Dollars (EPMD) is a duo that has a very good track record dating back to their classic debut, 1988’s “Strictly Business”, and is a group responsible for familiar artists such as Redman, Das Efx, and K-Solo. They have certainly made their mark on hip hop over the years, and if they don’t release another album together, their discography speaks for itself. Let’s take a look back.

Strictly Business & Unfinished Business

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 their first album with an equally classic second one, especially just one year apart.

5 classic songs across both albums:

*Strictly Business [You Gots To Chill, You’re A Customer, It’s My Thing, Let The Funk Flow and the title track]

*Unfinished Business [So Wat Cha Sayin, Please Listen To My Demo, Total Kaos, Get The Bozack and It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Fame]

***** stars for both albums


Business As Usual and Business Never Personal 

1990 was another very good year for hip hop, and EPMD was still on top of their game with their 3rd album, “Business As Usual”, 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 of all time in the form of “Headbanger” (featuring Redman and K-Solo_, and a classic single in “Crossover” (their biggest single), but tensions amounted shorty after this release, 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.

5 classic songs across both albums:

*Business As Usual [Gold Digger, Hardcore, Rampage, Give The People and Brothers On My Jock]

*Business Never Personal [Headbanger, Crossover, Cummin At Cha, It’s Going Down and Boon Dox]

I give ****1/2 for both albums

Back In Business and Out Of Business

One of the best moments in 1997 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. “Out Of Business” was ok, but nothing special, and to be fair, one of the main highlights on that album was “Symphony 2000” (featuring Method Man, Redman and Lady Luck). Back in business in 97, only to be “out of business” in 99. It didn’t seem like they were motivated on the latter, but had this been their final album, that wouldn’t have been the best way to call it a career.

Classic songs across both albums:

*Back In Business [Da Joint, Never Seen Before, original and remix, K.I.M. and Richter Scale]

*Out Of Business [Symphony 2000, Rap Is Still Outta Control and Symphony]

***1/2 stars for “Back In Business”, about **1/2 for “Out Of Business”

We Mean Business

Prior to adding this album to my collection in 2012, I heard it once. I thought it was decent, nothing more or less. This may very their last album together, unofficially.

Rating – about **1/2 stars

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 good solo career (don’t sleep on “No Pressure” from 1993 or “Double Or Nothing” from 1995) and a very good track record as a producer, PMD was largely ignored during his solo run (“Shade Business” was as inconsistent as they come, “Business Is Business” showed a little promise, but was lacking in many areas, and “The Awakening” woke up NO ONE). Overall, they will be best known for their contributions to hip hop in the form of EPMD and no one can take that away from them!