Erick Sermon Music

Erick Sermon's place in hip-hop history is secure as a member of the legendary duo EPMD, but he's always struggled to maintain this status on his own, despite his solo efforts and connections with artists such as Redman and Keith Murray. The green-eyed bandit's consistency as a producer since the late '80s has actually been his curse, because you can pretty much predict how one of his chunky P-funk-inspired beats is going to sound before you lay ears on it. That's why "Music," his summer hit single that adroitly sampled the spirit of the late Marvin Gaye, was such a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, Sermon does not capitalise on the new found interest in his lab concoctions, save for the sobering introspection of "The Sermon," he's serving up the same stuttering funk and passable braggadocio rhyming that's marked most of his solo career. At one point in time this was expected from him, post-EPMD, but it seems like Sermon has been spinning his wheels in the same groove for some time. He lazily samples Marvin Gaye again on "I'm Hot," and when he barely alters sampled-to-death tracks like Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love" and Curtis Mayfield's "Freddie's Dead," it confirms that Sermon has missed a golden opportunity to redeem his patchy solo reputation. (BMG)