Erick Sermon Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

EPMD “Crossover” (1992)



Album: Business Never Personal
Label: Def Jam/Columbia
Producer: EPMD

Erick Sermon: “Roger Troutman had just come out with his last album, and I bought it when we did an in-store [out in L.A.] So after we got home from L.A., we went to go see Russell Simmons to play him our album. And Russell was like, 'The album is dope, but y'all are missing the single.'

 

We had a song called 'Play the Next Man' on the album. And we wanted to drop it first as a 'Gold Digger' part two. Russell Simmons was like, 'You drop that record [as a single] and that will be the end of your career.'

 

"We had a song called 'Play the Next Man' on the album. And we wanted to drop it first as a 'Gold Digger' part two. And he was like, 'You drop that record [as a single] and that will be the end of your career.'

“So me, having that Roger, I was at my mother's house for some reason, and she was upstairs vacuuming, and I had the Walkman on and I was playing that cassette. And I kept playing that record.

"I went home, and I made [the beat for 'Crossover'] that night. I put the 'Whatever you want, oh oh, whatever you need..' on the hook. And I said, 'Yo Parrish, I got the record.' And we made it that night. That was the last song made on Business Never Personal.

“MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice came out, and they kind of shook the world. And we thought hip-hop was [about to take] a turn in another direction.

 

We had no idea that a record dissing radio was going to be that huge. But Russell knew. He didn't tell us that, but he knew.

 

"It wasn't that we were mad at what they were doing. It was that we wanted to preserve what we had. We wanted to make sure the people knew what this is right here.

“[It was ironic] because we dissed radio. We had no idea that a record dissing radio was going to be that huge. But Russell knew. He didn't tell us that, but he knew. We just wrote what we felt.

"He didn't care [that we dissed radio], because it wasn't about the words. It was about the beat, and the melody in the hook was just so crazy. That was the biggest record EPMD ever had.”

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