The EPMD emcee says he's trying to teach the next generation about longevity.
Some would say that a 50-year-old lyricist with 30 years in the rap game wouldn't be able to survive in the current hip hop climate that's drowning in SoundCloud rappers and artists becoming famous because of social media followers. Yet, Erick Sermon has managed to create a relevant, hot record with his recently released project Vernia. “This year, I’ll be like Tiger Woods. That’s how I feel right now. You can never put anybody under number. Only you can stop you," he told HipHopDX.
“There’s nothing here that can stop me,” Sermon says of people that discount him because of his age. “I got no disrespect, but when it comes down to what this culture is, I don’t see nobody in the way that can stop me from doing this.” His longevity is more than just making and cranking out new music. The New York rapper said that he tries to school young artists about the game, telling them that they should worry less about hitting the studio to roll out new hits on a conveyer belt, and rather be concerned with creating a sound that is unique to them while learning production styles. Making music just for today's culture doesn't create timeless hits.
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“[I tell them] I’m still here after 30 years and I can still work when I feel like working...that won’t happen with you. So, I hope that you save your money, that you have a plan B and C. I try to save them because they’re not going to be able to have a job. What they’re doing is not going to work anymore.“
“There were a thousand rappers that came out in Atlanta, yet it’s is still the same five stars out right now," he added. "You know, when I tell kids that they get quiet for like two minutes...it scares them. But nobody ever told them that.”