Urban Vault caught up with PMD of the legendary EPMD to ask him some questions about his music, inspirations, and collaborations
Parrish Smith (PMD of EPMD) has been building a solo career for more than 22 years. Three albums, starting 1994’s ‘Shade Business’ showed just what PMD was able to do on his own, both as an MC and producer. Since 2003’s slept-on ‘The Awakening’, Parrish has been much quieter than his partner on the solo tip. The new album brings the groove back to the EPMD sound and Parrish owns his greatness.
What is your name and where are you from?
Parish Smith from Brentwood, Long Island, New York.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music for 29 years.
How many songs/albums have you released to date?
About 25 albums. EPMD Strictly Business 1988, EPMD Unfinished Business 1989, EPMD Business as Usual 1990, Business Never Personal 1992, Redman Whut? Thee Album 1992. DAS EFX Dead Serious 1992, DAS EFX Straight Up Sewaside 1993, DAS EFX Hold it Down 1995, DAS EFX Generation EFX 1998, K Solo Tell The World My Name 1990, K Solo Times Up 1992, Top Quality Magnus Opus 1993, PMD Shade Business 1994, PMD Business is Business 1996, EPMD Back in Business 1997, EPMD Out of Business 1999, DJ Honda Underground Connection 2002, PMD The Awakening 2003, Hit Squad Zero Tolerance 2004, EPMD We Mean Business 2008, Welcome to the Goondox 2013, PMD New Business 2013, PMD Business Mentality 2017.
Can you tell us about your new album, the background, and inspiration behind it?
Recording and releasing Business Mentality is my way of paying homage back to Hip-hop which gave me the opportunity to become a legend. The inspiration behind this solo project is to me that Hip Hop was missing the Boom Bap. It was looking like Hip Hop really needed Real MC’s to return. I went back to the same studio where I recorded Strictly Business and everything fell right in the place.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?
Roger Troutman, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Fat Joe, Mob Deep, Raekwon, Krs One, Das Efx, Red Man, K Solo.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Stevie Nicks & Leela James.
What inspires you when you make your music?
My love for Hip Hop culture and the state of Hip Hop. All Hip Hop shouldn’t be under one umbrella. Artist from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s shouldn’t be considered old school or old heads. Rock & Jazz doesn’t do that. They have different categories like soft rock, hard rock, contemporary rock, same with jazz. Hip Hop has one category: everyone is under one umbrella. The Golden Era of Hip Hop and the Legends should have its own lane on some “Adult contemporary Hip Hop. Grown man rap.” Why not?
How have you ended up in the music industry?
Following my older brother Pooch who was signed to Tommy Boy Records.
What do you think of the music industry in 2017?
In my opinion, it needs to re-stabilize in getting back to the basics. Grassroots. Great soulful music that you can feel.
What have you got planned for 2018?
It’s the 30-year anniversary of EPMD Strictly Business album so I’m going to celebrate that and expand on developing Hit Squad Digital. Also, a book release, more touring, a new EPMD album and just enjoy life in the present because tomorrow is not promised.
What’s your favorite track at the moment?
‘How Many Times’ of the new album.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
Making sure my mom is straight. Spend time with my children. Speak and teach Hip Hop at schools, colleges, and seminars. And also train and play with my German Shepherd, Jane.
Facebook or Twitter?
In a few words, sum up your thoughts about Urban Vault and what we’re trying to do?
Urban Vault is creating a One Stop Hip Hop hub where you can locate and find dope current up to date Hip Hop music, shows, events, news, as well as helping other companies promote different types of t-shirt designs and apparel. Just tying it all together. One Love!
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making dope, fresh music.