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by
7 January, 2009@11:05 pm
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In a recent conference call Erick Sermon put it better than any writer could.  “EPMD makes music for people that like EPMD”.  If more artists had the EPMD mentality hip-hop might not be in such a state of crisis.   It’s been nearly 10 years since we last heard from the duo of Erick “The Green-Eyed Bandit” and PMD aka Parrish Smith.  Though we thought we may see an album earlier when Nervous came back and released “Dangerzone” b/w “The Truth” in 2004 and then another limited 12” popped up in 2006, but still no full length.

Here it is December of 2008 and once again EPMD blesses us with a full length.  Abandoning the major labels, “We Mean Business” is an independent venture on EP Records with distribution through Fontana.  You don’t have to have a major label marketing the hell out of you when you put out a quality product.  Enough of the rant, let’s get to the album.

The album starts off with a bang, “Puttin’ in Work” show why PMD is still one of the most respected lyricists in the game.  Ty Fyffe brings the grimy NY sound back while Raekwon makes us continue to fiend for Cuban Linx 2.  Although “Blow” and “Run It” featuring The Teacher, Krs-One where previously released they fit perfectly in the mix of “We Mean Business”.  “Roc-Da-Spot” is Sermon’s patented funky production with snapping snares and classic synth.  Def Squad veterans Redman and Keith Murray show up on “Yo” and “They Tell Me” respectfully.   Teddy Riley uses the now played out auto-tune to perfection reminiscent of Roger Troutman for “Listen Up” while Erick and Parrish speak volumes to the youth over the funky Green Eyed Bandit track.   DJs stand up and play this one in the club.  Parish shows off his production prowess along side Sermon on the O’Jays inspired “Bac Stabbers” and what would be an EPMD album be without “Jane”.  DJ 4our 5ive flexes on the turntables while Erick and Parrish trade verses about the girl we all know.   Always surprising us, EPMD hooks up with the always impressive Skyzoo over a banging 9th Wonder beat.  9th has that signature sound and EPMD sounds so nice rhyming about our fallen soldiers in hip-hop and how hip-hop itself has been “Left 4 Dead”

Neither Erick nor Parrish will rewrite the book of rap, but they don’t have to.  They have proven themselves over and over again to make commercially viable music as well as music you can bump in your jeeps.  The wait is over and the boys are definitely back for 2008-2009 and if We Mean Business is any indication of what’s to come, the legacy will most certainly continue. - DG

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