February is Black History Month! And, in honor of those who have paved the way and pioneered in Hip-Hop culture and beyond, AllHipHop.com pays tribute all month with its “Living Monuments” series. Next in the lineup is the EPMD legend, Erick Sermon, who has a LOT to say about the state of Hip-Hop in 2012:
ERICK SERMON ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A "LIVING MONUMENT"
For Hip-Hop fans of the late 1980s, EPMD was a two-man lyrical army, and Erick Sermon was its lispy, outspoken general. Funky, feel good samples ("I-I-I shot the sheriff...don't get to bold because you might get shot") over clever, monotone spitting were their claim to fame, earning them a permanent place among rap legends. After the group's breakup, Sermon went on to create monster hits for others - his production credits read like a who-who's of the best from rap and R&B.
From Akon to Beyonce to Redman to Jay-Z to D'Angelo to George Clinton to Too Short and even Shaquille O'Neal, Sermon is the behind-the-scenes hitmaker that all the cool kids flock to for help:
ERICK SERMON ON WHAT THE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO SUSTAIN HIP-HOP
The “Green Eyed Bandit” may have part cat in his DNA (perhaps a talkative, boastful lion). Think back over the years on how he has faced disaster and yet, like a cat, seems to have nine lives. In 2001, he mysteriously fell out of a third story window and survived. In 2008, he and Parrish Smith reunited to perform again as EPMD after surviving a near-forever breakup. And in November 2011, after a long break from recording and prepping for a comeback, he had a heart attack. And survived.
Sermon knows what it takes to stay alive. Here's his advice for providing "options" so young Hip-Hop can build legacies and lifetime careers:
ERICK SERMON RAPS, EXPLAINS WHY "I'M ALREADY ME" IS THE NEW MOTTO
For countless reasons in the past 25 years, Sermon deserves to be heard and respected. And these days, he wants to use his influence and years of experience (including his own six studio albums, one compilation, and a forthcoming mixtape and album called E.S.P.) to help sustain Hip-Hop the way artists do in other music genres and subcultures. And, although he says he's NO LONGER GOING TO RAP, Sermon has a whole lot of words left in him.
Check out the last clip of the boisterous E-Double below where HE RAPS, and truth be told, is so good at hitting all the right points, he could have interviewed himself:
Want more Erick Sermon? Of course you do. Catch him at his special "Hit Squad Reunion" show, featuring EPMD, Redman, Keith Murray, and others, on February 24 at Best Buy Theatre in NYC. Purchase tickets HERE.