September 17 / 6:00pm
Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, better known as the hip-hop duo EPMD ("Erick and Parrish Making Dollars"), grew up together on Long Island and began making music in the late '80s. Their 1988 release, Strictly Business topped the R&B charts and went certified gold with hits including, "You Gots to Chill" and the eponymous "Strictly Business." They followed up with Unfinished Business (1989) and Business as Usual (1990) which saw a collaboration with L.L. Cool J on the hit "Rampage." In 1992, the duo released Business Never Personal before temporarily calling it quits in 1993. After both launching solo careers, the two reunited in 1997 releasing the aptly named comeback LP, Back in Business, quickly followed by 1999's Out of Business. The two worked on their solo careers until reuniting again in 2008 for We Mean Business, and they recently announced plans for a new album, Big Business, due in 2018.
Of the pioneers who ushered in the “Golden Age of Hip Hop” in the 1980s, only one of them can claim England as their birthplace. Alas, the linguistic master, Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, known across the globe as Slick Rick, has British roots. With his signature eye patch and opulent, regal jewelry, Rick’s incomparable style and lyrical prowess are as respected as any other in the rap game. The most-sampled hip hop artist of all time (his words & beats appear in over 600 tracks by other artists), Rick the Ruler got his start in ’83 when he joined Doug E. Fresh in the Get Fresh Crew. Within five years he would release The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, which launched his solo career and firmly established him as the lyricist of his generation. Add three other albums to his credit, as well as an outrageously extensive list of collaborations with the top names in rap (Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Mos Def, to name a few), multiple TV and film appearances and honors, awards & inclusion on every esteemed list of superlative hip hop performers ever. But the magnanimous Rick hasn’t stopped there; he mentors kids on the dangers of violence, and his many philanthropic endeavors help to raise awareness and much needed funds for underserved communities.
Black Moon is the legendary Hip-Hop group comprised of Buckshot, 5FT and DJ Evil Dee. They stormed on the scene with the debut of their classic album, ‘Enta Da Stage,’ which featured hits such as Who Got The Props, How Many Emcees and Gotcha Opin. The group later went on to release follow up titles, such as War Zone & Total Eclipse.
Smif N Wessun is the historic duo of Tek & Steele. The group forever changed the borough of Brooklyn’s name to BUCKTOWN. Smif N Wessun’s debut album, Da Shinin, was comprised of hit songs such as Bucktown, Sound Bwoy Bureill, and Stand Strong. Other projects include The Rude Awakening, Reloaded, Monumental and Born & Raised. Smif N Wessun are also known for their work with Mary J Blige, Tupac, and Aaliyah.