Rap group EPMD recently took advantage of technology by debuting their latest single “Blow” on the Internet, but the group has not forgotten their Hip-hop roots and has struck a deal with Unique Distribution to market and release 12 inch singles on the Def Squad/Hit Squad label.
The legendary Brentwood, Long Island rap group’s single “Blow” hits stores on vinyl on August 13.
The track is the first single from the group’s highly anticipated 7th album We Mean Business.
“DJ Premier said it’s cool to do the cds and all that, but you gotta respect the vinyl’ and Unique Distribution stepped their game up,” Def Squad CEO Erick Sermon told AllHipHop.com. “I encourage a lot of rappers to release their own vinyl independent of the label situation, because you know who how labels do, if the first single aint poppin off right away, then bam its a wrap for you.”
Both Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith have run successful labels, which combined have brought forth legendary artists like Redman, Keith Murray, K-Solo, Das EFX, DJ Scratch, Hurricane G and others.
According to Smith, the group has been performing and touring to inspire their creativity as a unit, while working on We Mean Business, the group’s first album in almost 10 years.
“We have a good group of soldiers around us,” Smith told AllHipHop.com. “Its a combined effort, were not rushing making music, were going back through and listening to EPMD albums that keep that same element. You gotta listen to your corner, its just like in boxing, you’re only as good as your corner. Thats the difference between winning or getting knocked out.”
“Blow” will be released under the group’s vinyl deal with Unique Distribution, based in Westbury, New York.
Unique is one of the world’s largest distributors of vinyl. The company recently inked a manufacturing deal with fellow independent giant, Koch Records.
“There are millions of people that still love underground Hip-Hop,” Smith said of using vinyl as a business strategy. “It’s not being embraced. If you want the Hip-Hop you love back, then support it. Overseas is how it still should be. MCs like Jeru the Damaja , DeLa Soul, they are loved as much as the mainstream over here, They still love to hear that snare and kick, that sample, those lyrics. Big up to Kayne, Common, Mos Def, and dudes like that, who are releasing that type of music, regardless of what’s popular.”
We Mean Business is due in stores in early 2008.