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The consummate New York rap duo EPMD helped spark hip-hop’s first golden age with their 1988 debut, Strictly Business, and their comeback album, 1997’s Back in Business, capped what was perhaps the best year for hip-hop in the era since. The artists that the group first put on—Redman, Keith Murray, Das EFX—have long since become titans in their own right, but at every turn, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith have matched, or even surpassed, those who came for their spot. A 2006 appearance at B.B. King’s was the group’s first in eight years, and by all accounts, they are no more or less rusty than any other potential industry saver: Diddy, whose pitiable microphone style descends directly from theirs; Jay-Z, who ably carried the torch when they put it down; and 50 Cent, who, as his own crew now reportedly deserts him, can presumably only envy the loyalty that EPMD still inspire. Tonight, they appear with rap’s best circa ’93: Naughty By Nature, Lords of the Underground, and OC.
Fri., April 25, 7 p.m., 2008