EPMD Means Business With New Label

Hip-Hop duo EPMD are donning their entrepreneurial hats with the release of their new album We Mean Business, as group members Erick Sermon and Parish Smith have launched a new label, EP Records.

The new venture is a business reunion of sorts, after a well documented business feud between Sermon and Smith broke the group up in 1993, with Smith launching The Hit Squad, while Sermon formed his group Def Squad.

The group reunited with 1997’s album Back in Business, which was followed by their last release, 1999’s Out of Business.

Despite the changing climate of today’s rap scene, Sermon is adamant about staying true to what endeared him and Smith to rap fans.

"We’re not out here to conform to radio or worry about who’s digging it," Erick Sermon told AllHipHop.com. "The core fans are going to speak up and they’re liking it and that’s all who we care about."

"It’s a combination of Strictly Business and Business As Usual,” Smith said. “Basically it’s me and E doing our own thing. We got our own label EP Records and it’s distributed through Fontana Universal; we just showing that there is no excuse or no crying over technology.”

Although Smith and Sermon are mostly featured on We Mean Business, the album will include guest appearances from KRS-One, Mobb Deep and longtime EPMD affiliate Redman.

"The album is crazy," Sermon revealed. "Everything on it beat wise is crazy. It’s real real nice, a real nice tape. I say tape because I’m keeping it essence of it here. People going to love it."

EPMD’s return to the rap scene comes as artists work to maintain success in an ever-changing music scene.

"I think if New York and LA started making records, it wouldn’t be this lopsided," Sermon noted. "People got to stop worrying about bringing New York back and stop worrying about what ni***s is doing and start making material."

EPMD’s We Mean Business is slated to hit stores on July 30.