Erick Sermon (who I'm chillin' with in this photograph to the left, taken on the group's last visit to London) and Parrish Smith first burst on to the rap scene back in 1988 with the album, 'Strictly Business'. These two rappers from Long Island, New York met in college and decided to join forces under the title of 'Erick & Parish Making Dollars', thus EPMD was born.
Apart from their own individual vocal styles, what enabled the group to stand out from the pack was their emphasis of using hard core funk in their samples, giving the tracks a harder, grittier edge. One case in point, one of their earliest records which exploded on the streets of New York (and got them an album deal) was 'You Gots To Chill'. This song sampled the bass bottom funk of 'More Bounce To The Ounce' by Roger Troutman's Zapp to perfection. From this beginning more hip hop hits followed including 'So Wat Cha Sayin' and 'Crossover'. From the late 80's into the 90's they were a major force in hip hop music.
Along the way there has been major drama, the biggest being when the two split up and did not speak personally for several years. Without giving too much away, all I'll say is a robbery and threats of violence is caught up in the mix. All of which is covered (along with the various outside music productions and rap artists they worked with) in 'Unsung'. If you are a lover of the old school hip hop flavours, then you can watch the EPMD episode right here. In closing, let me add after seeing the band perform many years ago at a Public Enemy concert (at which I had the privilege of djing at the after-party), I caught EPMD at the Jazz Cafe in London recently and can testify that these boys have still got da skillz to rock da house!!!