EPMD’s Parish Smith — the PMD of the legendary New York Hip Hop duo — is currently on The Art Of Rap Tour with his EPMD brethren Erick Sermon, Rakim, Slick Rick, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
Only five months ago, Mobb Deep MC Prodigy passed away at the age of 42 following a performance on the tour’s stop in Las Vegas. EPMD wasn’t on that bill and missing the show is something that still haunts PMD.
On the Hip Hop luminary’s recent solo album, Business Mentality, PMD got a chance to make peace with the fact he didn’t get to say goodbye on the aptly titled track “Prodigy Tribute.”
“I did the ‘Prodigy Tribute’ song to Prodigy to have a conversation with P and pay respect to him for his great contribution to Hip Hop,” PMD tells HipHopDX. “Anytime EPMD and Mobb Deep would have a show together, P and I would chop it up for minute and catch up the next time we were on the same show. EPMD and Mobb Deep were on The Art Of Rap Tour in 2016. In June 2017, Mobb Deep was on The Art Of Rap show in Las Vegas, but EPMD wasn’t on The Art Of Rap Las Vegas show this year, so I didn’t get to catch up with Prodigy. I felt like I had to have that conversation with Prodigy.”
EPMD has pumped out a series of celebrated albums, beginning with 1988’s Strictly Business. That album spawned the hit “You Gots To Chill” and solidified their spot in Hip Hop history.
There have been countless breakups and makeups over the years. Most recently, DJ Scratch, who’d been the turntablist for the group since the late ’80s, split. Despite his absence, E Double and PMD have carried on the EPMD legacy. In fact, Sermon pops up on PMD’s new effort on the track “The Real Is Gone.”
For PMD’s solo album, Business Mentality, he does mention the process was slightly different from making an EPMD record.
“When preparing for an EPMD album, I know what EPMD fans are expecting — the dynamic duo. The lyrical tag team. The Mic Specialists,” he says. “[They want] the super dope, funky tracks and real lyrical content consistent with the EPMD sound and catalog. When I do a solo album, it’s just me, my vision, my personal point of view and an effort from the heart. On Business Mentality, I was able to look at the state of Hip Hop from a fan, artist and producer point of view. I wasn’t afraid to take a chance and go back to the grassroots of Hip Hop — the Boom Bap.”
Looking back on his storied career, PMD is grateful to be a part of the culture after all these years, hence the title of his album.
“Business Mentality comes from being blessed to be a part of an still active in Hip Hop for 30 years and still going,” he explains. “Everything is business and once you learn to listen, and listen to learn with an open mind, you put yourself in a position to change with the times and stay relevant with a ‘business mentality.'”
Check out the album stream, cover art and tracklist below. Cop it here.
- Prodigy Tribute f. Agallah
- Mic Doc
- Slow Your Roll f. Ace Brav & RJ Da Realst
- Gimme The Mic f. Ace Brav & RJ Da Realst
- The Real Is Gone f. Erick Sermon
- Take Notes f. Ace Brav & RJ Da Realst
- All I Got f. Cashino
- Belly Of The Beast f. Ace Brav & Leek
- Moment Of Truth f. Ace Brav & Leek
- Spirit f. RJ Da Realst, John Jiggs & Dinco D
- How Many Times f. RJ Da Realst
- You Know Who The Best f. RJ Da Realst, Nocturnal & Agallah
- Good To Go
- Outro 2020