Erick Sermon doesn’t really listen to a lot of the music that is out now.

There are a few new artists, like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, that he “really likes” but the genre “lacks balance,” he says. “Everything is just one-sided.”

In a recent interview with The Source Magazine, Sermon shared his thoughts on the current state of Hip Hop and previewed his upcoming album, ESP.

J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar… I’ve heard their new projects they are phenomenal,” he said. “I think I mess with their content, I think that’s what Hip Hop supposed to be … I rather listen to [Cole]  and [Kendrick] and people of that nature again because of the conversations. Because Hip Hop use to teach you and can save a generation and that is where I’m at to save my culture.”

Sermon, one-half of the Rap duo EPMD, also expanded on “One Shot,” the first single off of his forthcoming album.

“This song is to show that I’m not in a competition with none of you because none of you are even on the same level as me,” he says.  “Also to let people know that I’m not to be fucked with either… When I was writing that song it felt like that Eminem’s 8 Miles that you only get one shot. ”

In addition to Masspike Miles — who sings the chorus on “One Shot” — ESP is also slated to feature Mary J. Blige, Jay Electronica and a couple new people that Sermon likes.

The veteran emcee has been crafting this project primarily in his hometown of Long Island, New York because he says, it’s easier to come up with stuff there.

“Of course you can’t have Hip Hop without Long Island,” he said. “You have me, Rakim, Public Enemy, De La Soul, K-Solo and whole lot more. Creativity in Long Island is definitely something. It’s easier to come up with stuff here is because of the Hip Hop history we have here.”

Next year, Sermon plans to launch a Hip Hop-based rug company, a documentary titled 88Fresh and a coinciding live tour.

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