In 2007 there is a rather simple formula to making a hit album. It’s not a music method it’s a business method. You get marketing and advertising going, leak some of the album out (just not too much) so the fans get excited, get radio play, do interviews, appearances, photo shoots, create a hype and you got a Platinum album in the making. Just look at Jay-Z spending close to $10 million to promote his album. It went Platinum in 2.5 months. It’s no longer about the music itself. Hip Hop is a business in ’07 and Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Diddy and T.I. are cashing in. Diddy ain’t even had an album out in years and his Press Play didn’t do so hot once he finally dropped something. So how is it that he is swimming in cash? The business of Hip Hop should not be mistaken for the music of Hip Hop or the culture of Hip Hop thou. Still, it wasn’t always like that.
EPMD came from a different era. Back then records didn’t go Platinum this easy. Back then getting a DJ to play your record in a club was it. Back then people freely spoke their minds and they had something to say. Yeah, the beats were still dope. Grandmaster Flash and Jam Master Jay and DJ Premier all made amazing music that rocked the crowd. That’s what it was about thou. Rocking the crowd. Every now and then an artist would make a significant record, one that would prove true even years later. The Bridge Is Ova is still the dopest diss track. Even 50 Cent gave props to KRS on TV as the master of diss records. EPMD had a track like that. Crossover was released in ’92 and talked about artists selling out to become more commercial. There were also the first group to start using funk and rock music for sampling, instead of the then industry standard of using disco and electronic.
Everyone’s favorites Redman and Keith Murray got their start with Eric Sermon’s help. The now world famous DJ Scratch got his fame by becoming EPMD’s second DJ. They took a break from making music for a bit. There is only so much you can do to contain true passion for music. Eric Sermon and Parrish got just that. It’s the undying love, passion and conviction for Hip Hop that got them back together. Rock the Bells helped bring that classic group to its fans. In 2006 EPMD did a show at BB King’s, their first in New York in 8 years. In 2007 they did a whole Rock the Bells tour all over the country. They also stopped by BET’s Rap City to do a freestyle. That’s not all thou! Currently they are working on a new album, tentatively titled We Mean Business, scheduled to be released in 2008.
No new Hip Hop success formula to follow. No gimmicks. Just classic EPMD all over again. As Parish said about their new music: “Solid. Cement.”