EPMD

12:40am, Venue 222

EPMD

The list of touring rappers with 20 years under their belts is short.

"It's different preparation now, man," laments Parrish Smith, one-half of legendary New York boom-bap duo EPMD. "In the Nineties, you got asked to go on tour by booking agents and other groups, and then you just rocked the shows by your perception of what you thought hip-hop was about. It's much more involved now than it used to be."

As EPMD, Smith and Erick "Sermon" Onassis first blended Rakim's lyrical dexterity with Run-DMC's penchant for good vibes to restructure East Coast hip-hop on 1988's Strictly Business. Flowing slowly over funky beats sampled from Sermon's massive disco record collection, the album helped usher in a golden age of New York hip-hop.

Just four years later, the two split over bad blood – Smith's house was robbed, and Onassis was named as a conspirator during the investigation. They tried two albums late in the 1990s – 1997's Back in Business and 1999's Out of Business – but both played closer to Method Man and Redman's Blackout! than Boogie Down Productions' Criminal Minded. Reunited again, Parrish promises a classic return of the boom bap, a spin on the disco funk he listened to growing up.

"We still have the same approach to making real dope music," he says. "And now I have a greater understanding of where that music comes from. Most of the music I sampled in the Eighties was recorded in the Seventies, but it didn't seem that way to me because we were just used to hearing those songs on the radio. They were around."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More by Chase Hoffberger
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018

EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
Association to cast ballot between incumbent Tony Marquardt or challenger Selena Xie

Nov. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

EPMD

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle