Sunday, 27 July 2008
EPMD's Debut 12", Fresh Records 1987
Back in 1994 I was working at a newspaper in London and one of the guys I worked with told me he used to be into hip-hop and I figured the guy used to like Hammer or perhaps maybe even Run DMC but I didn't pay it too much attention. Then one day he brought in about 5 albums and a few 12"s and he asked me if I wanted them. As soon as I saw what they were I snapped them up real quick. He gave me a copy of a Cash Money and Marvelous's Wheres the party album, MC Shan's Born to be Wild album, Long Live the Kane and some dodgy hip-hop compilations all of these were dope but the real gem was a copy of EPMD's first 12". This 12" was released in 1987 on a small label called Fresh (Sleeping Bag), who had already given us hits by Just-Ice and T La Rock. This is one of the most important debut 12"s in hip hop history. EMPD (or EPEE MD as its says on the vinyl label) dropped the double A side 12" of Its My Thing and You're a Customer in 1987 and ushered in a sample heavy funk laden era years before the phrase G-Funk was coined. The original 12" featured You're only a customer and Its my thing and dub versions of both of them like many 12"s at the time.
Its my thing is a phenomenal track that is made from three samples; Syl Johnson's 'Different strokes', Thomas, Tyrone & the Whole Darn Family's 'Seven minutes of Funk' and Marva Whitney's 'Its my thing'. The majority of the song is made up from 'Seven Minutes of Funk' with a vocal interpolation taken from Marva Whitneys 'Its my thing' and a little bit of Syl Johnson's 'Different Strokes' ( which has been used by too many people to to list but I will says that this like many other of Syl's tunes has been flipped by Rza numerous times). The end product of all of these is an incredibly funky joint that can still tear up a club more than 20 years later.
You're a customer is my favorite out of the two tracks on this 12" and shows just how great EPMD were back in the day. EPMD for me were always about the music, they're above average braggadocio emcees but when E and P combine behind the boards they produce some of the dopest early 90s bangers. The track is made up of two samples; one if Kool and the Gang's Jungle Boogie from their 1973 album Wild and Peaceful (EPMD used this track on at least another 5 tunes) and the other samples comes from the Steve Miller Band's 'Fly like an Eagle (which they also used on at least another three tracks).
Check out a rip of the original 12" vinyl and all the samples used in it by following the link below.
EPMD's Debut 12" and Samples