Erick Sermon Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 2)

Erick Onasis f/ Slick Rick “Why Not” (2000)



Album: Erick Onasis
Label: DreamWorks
Producer: Erick Sermon

Erick Sermon: “Oh my God! I'm coming out of the studio in L.A., where I was [working with] Scarface at the time. Puffy stopped me and said, 'Whoever got that 'Why Not' record, make sure they don't lose it. You got a hit.' Puffy!

“I was making the beat, and I passed by these bowling alley sound effects. In the record, you can hear the pins and the ball rolling and [knocking down] the pins. The bottom of that beat is a bowling alley. And Slick Rick's 'Mona Lisa' beat [influenced] that. The whole shit was [inspired by] Slick Rick.

“So I called him. 'Yo Rick, I need you on this record.' Then the concept was to [spell out] Erick and Rick. Just the fact that the concept [was so dope] I was like, 'Yo, we're about to kill 'em!' And it did nothing.

 

It was DreamWorks, Erick Onasis was my first [project] with them. They were brand new, and they were brickin' and bombin' everything up there. Until Dave Hollister won. I brought them Dave Hollister, and he went platinum.

 

“It was DreamWorks, Erick Onasis was my first [project] with them. They were brand new, and they were brickin' and bombin' everything up there. Until Dave Hollister won. I brought them Dave Hollister, and he went platinum.

“They were new. They didn't have radio staff or none of that. I got on Hot 97 just from me being cool. Even me and Ja Rule 'Get Da Money.' I'm like 'How did that record not work!?!?!' We were killing that record! Even me and Scratch's record. I don't give a fuck, man. That Erick Onasis record, there were songs on that record.

“Me and Rick go back to the '80s. Russell [Simmons] had everybody, so we all had the same management company. Those are all '88 albums. Slick Rick, EPMD, Eric B. and Rakim, Too $hort, Salt N Pepa, Hammer, Special Ed, MC Lyte. Go Google '88. They all come up. It's the best year in hip-hop. Because everything that you see here came from that one year.

“Rick was always quiet. Everybody was crumbs. He's from London, so he had the Queen attitude, where he looked at everybody as crumbs. That was Slick Rick's whole demeanor. 'Y'all all under me. Beneath me.' And he meant it. Slick Rick the Ruler.

“He was dope [on the record], but he still stuck me up for money. Ten thousand for the video, ten thousand for the record. He stuck me up. That's the part I didn't like. It wasn't right to do that to me. I thought [we were cool from back in the day]. But it was business.

“Yeah, we're still cool. I tour with him a lot. He's touring. Everybody still tours. We tour more than any new act in America. EPMD is the least touring ones. Kane does a hundred shows a year. Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh do two hundred shows a year. Chubb Rock does seventy to eighty shows a year.”

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