Attention hip-hop heads: Erick Sermon, co-founder of the legendary EPMD, blesses us with his new mixtape Breathe of Fresh Air, released on his Def Squad Label. Erick may have spent the last decade writing and producing for just about everyone, but with his new mixtape, we get to hear a mixture of the Green Eyed Bandit we loved back in the ’80s and the mature Erick of the new millennium.
Frustrated with the lack of substance in rap and hip-hop music, Erick released the 23 track mixtape in hopes to give listeners something different.
“It’s for those who still like R&B and hip-hop. We should have a choice to listen to something like that or have something for conversation,” Erick said. “I’m hoping that me doing that will have more children too to have a balance.”
Breathe of Fresh Air has appearances by 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Too Short, Keith Murray, KRS One, and funnyman Jamie Foxx, who does a hilarious skit on the first track. Also appearing are Redman and Method Man, who are each in the studio with Erick recording their individual projects.
Erick’s newest discovery, Twon Gabs, gives us a sneak peak of his flow on two songs as well.
After suffering a mild heart attack back in November, Erick was inspired to record the first single “A Way Out.” He told S2S, “I was at home watching CSI and I felt some pain but nothing really serious. The next morning, I took my son to school and I felt the pain again on my left hand side so I went to the hospital.”
His blood pressure and hypertension reached a dangerous, almost fatal high that day, despite him taking medication to treat the condition.
After he arrived back at home at two o’clock in the morning, he went to his basement studio and thought to himself, “Damn my heart’s going bad, my kids need dad.” With those words as the first line of the song, he recorded “A Way Out” that very same night. In the song he also touches on health issues of some of his peers like Rick Ross and Heavy D.
One thing is for sure, Erick Sermon knows music. After 22 years on the business, he can still rock the mic and get the heads bobbin’. Breath of Fresh Air can be downloaded for free at www.livemixtape.com.