Last week, we hit you with Part 1 of our Erick Sermon Tells All feature, highlighting the stories behind his work between 1988-1995 with EPMD and Def Squad associates Redman and Keith Murray.
But the hits didn’t stop in ‘95, as Erick continued his production prowess, matching up Redman and Wu-Tang Clan megastar Method Man on “How High,” assisting them in becoming one of the most potent duos in hip-hop history. He also blessed Jay-Z and his associates with the landscape for “Reservoir Dogs,” and re-worked LL Cool J’s posse cut “4, 3, 2, 1” with newcomers DMX and Canibus (plus Red & Meth) to make it into a huge single.
He even helped a young 50 Cent craft his certified street classic “Da Heatwave,” and he managed to reunite with his old partner-in-rhyme Parrish Smith aka PMD to give the world another dosage of raw EPMD flavor.
And his run continued after the turn of the century, as Erick Sermon gave the world two of the biggest records of his career. First, it was “Music,” featuring a hypnotic Marvin Gaye sample, which led to a four million dollar 50/50 record deal with Clive Davis at J Records. Then, he followed it up with “React,” produced by a new beatmaker named Just Blaze and featuring Redman. Plus, he laced southern stars Scarface and Ludacris with his signature flavor.
In Part 2, the Green-Eyed Bandit tells us just how high Red & Meth were during their first recording session together, how collaborations with his ‘88 rap classmates Too $hort and Slick Rick came about, and just how nice Rick Ross was when he first worked with him over a decade ago. Let’s get back to business.
As told to Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)