EPMD Biography

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Birth Place: Brentwood, New York, U.S.
Years Active: 1986-1993, 1997-1999, 2006—present
Genres: Hip Hop


EPMD is an American hip hop group from Brentwood, New York comprised of Erick “E” Sermon and Parrish “PMD” Smith. The group’s name is also an acronym for “Erick and Parrish Making Dollars.” The group has been active for more than 25 years, and is one of the most prominent acts in east coast hip hop.

EPMD signed with Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records, which released its debut album “Strictly Business,” in 1988, featuring the underground hits “Strictly Business” and “You Gots to Chill.” The album eventually was certified gold after peaking at #80 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.

Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records issued their second album, “Unfinished Business,” in 1989. The album again went gold and again went to #1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The lead single, “So What Cha Sayin'” was a Top 25 hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

Financial frustrations followed when Sleeping Bag went under in 1992. The duo’s Sleeping Bag contract was acquired by Def Jam. EPMD returned in 1990 with “Business As Usual,” their first album on Def Jam. It was their third straight album to reach #1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and be gold certified. It featured the debut of future rap star Redman, who appeared on the tracks “Hardcore” and “Brothers on My Jock.” Three singles were released from the album, “Gold Digger,” “Rampage (Slow Down, Baby)” featuring LL Cool J and “Give the People.”

“Business Never Personal,” their fourth studio album, was issued by Def Jam in 1992. It again certified gold while peaking at #5 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. It also reached #14 on the Billboard 200. The lead single, “Crossover,” became its biggest success, nearly reaching the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

The duo split in January 1993, under controversial circumstances regarding PMD’s house being burglarized and Sermon’s alleged involvement. They went to issue solo albums in before the duo reunited in 1997, recording a comeback LP, “Back in Business.” Their fifth consecutive gold album peaked at #4 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and #16 on the Billboard 200. The single,”Da Joint,” became their second Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1997.

EPMD’s sixth LP, “Out of Business,” was released in 1999 as both a single album and a limited edition double album. The limited edition double album contained both new material and rerecorded versions of its greatest hits. While it managed to reach #13 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, the album was their first to fail to certify at least gold.

The group then went on another extended hiatus, this time lasting until 2008. That year saw the release of EPMD’s seventh studio album, “We Mean Business,” via EP Records. The album went to #13 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and #42 on the Billboard 200.





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