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

EPMD “You're A Customer” (1988)



Album: Strictly Business
Label: Fresh/Sleeping Bag
Producer: EPMD

Erick Sermon: “We got the idea from ZZ Top's 'Cheap Sunglasses.' So it was ZZ Top, looped underneath the Lindrum drums. A Lindrum was a beat machine that Charlie had. So while we looped the loop, we put the drums on top of it to make it harder.

 

I got a lot of money off the 'You're A Customer' drums. I even told DJ Premier. I said, 'Yo Premier, you think I don't know 'Mass Appeal' is 'You're A Customer'? I never came at you for that, but I know my drums!'

 

“So we took the song back to the hood. At the end of [the song I say], 'With the guitars playing.' And then we take it out. That's because the hood was like, 'Yo, the record sounds good, but take the guitars out.' It was too rock-ish for them.

"So when we took the guitars out, all you heard was the 'Boom boomp, boom boomp.' The bass and the drums were played, and when we took the [guitar] loop out, that's all you heard. But [the beat initially came from sampling] ZZ Top's 'Cheap Sunglasses.' No one in the world would have ever been able to figure that out.

“Everyone flipped that. Biggie, Mario Winans. I got a lot of money off the 'You're A Customer' drums. I even told Premier. I said, 'Yo Premier, you think I don't know 'Mass Appeal' is 'You're A Customer'? I never came at you for that, but I know my drums!' The kick and snare on 'Mass Appeal' [is from 'You're A Customer'].”

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