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

EPMD f/ LL Cool J “Rampage” (1990)



Album: Business As Usual
Label: Def Jam/RAL/Columbia
Producer: EPMD

Erick Sermon: “Scratch [didn't make the beat for 'Rampage.'] Parrish did. I wasn't there. I was sick. I wasn't around though anyway, because Parrish and LL were friends, so sometimes they would hang out without me. They happened to be in the studio that day, and they were in there rocking.

"There are versions out there with them going back and forth without me on it. But the 'Rampage' title came from Scratch. He thought the 'Rampage' sample would be dope in there. Scratch [went nuts at the end with the cuts.]

 

Russell Simmons told LL Cool J to get with EPMD. He was on with the 'Pink Cookies' thing, but Russell felt that he needed to be with EPMD. That's why he came with us and got his swagger back. Nobody knows that part. So he befriended us, got out and used us, and then came out with Mama Said Knock You Out.

 

“Russell Simmons told LL Cool J to get with EPMD. He was on with the 'Pink Cookies' thing, but Russell felt that he needed to be with EPMD. That's why he came with us and got his swagger back. Nobody knows that part.

"LL was on another way, and Russell felt he should be over there with somebody hot, and that was EPMD. So he befriended us, got out and used us, and then came out with Mama Said Knock You Out, and the album was phenomenal.

“I think 'Rampage' was dope. It was a record where LL and Parrish were secretly battling. People talk about that a lot. LL is a subliminal shot thrower. It turned out to be a great record. I wish I was feeling better. Even Lyor was like, 'You sound horrible on that record.' But Parrish was like, 'No, fuck that man. We keepin' that record like that [with Erick's verse on it.']

“I was sick. The beat was up-tempo, so I should've been more like I was on 'Headbanger.' When people heard LL's verse, they [thought] I was coming after to get him. But it didn't happen. I was sick.

“We never performed that [back in the day.] The first time we ever performed that with LL wasn't until 2009 at Hammerstein Ballroom for the Jam Master Jay memorial thing.”

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