Twista, EPMD, Mic Terror Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., Sept. 24, 9 p.m. 2008

Because the Cool Kids are so clearly influenced by EPMD, their growing popularity has had the side effect of putting that classic duo’s name back on people’s lips—a welcome development, because even though EPMD’s brilliant albums from the late 80s and early 90s have never been in danger of going out of print, they’re still one of those groups whose influence dwarfs their fame. Breaking out after acts like Run-DMC and Big Daddy Kane, who were among the first to reach the mainstream, and before the gangsta rappers who’d follow them to even greater success, EPMD had features of both—the chunky beats and easygoing lyrical give-and-take of 80s hip-hop and the soul samples and hard-as-fuck image that defined the genre in the 90s. Cue up 1988’s Strictly Business or 1990’s Business as Usual and you can spot the bits their imitators have carried into the present, from the line-trading style the Cool Kids do so well to the technique of wringing a creepy, anxious tension out of chopped-up soul samples, which has been jacked for two decades by high-profile producers like Dr. Dre and the RZA and still doesn’t sound played out. —Miles Raymer

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