Erick Sermon, the rapper and producer best known as one-half of the seminal hip-hop outfit EPMD, unveiled a biting new song, "Come Thru," featuring Craig Mack, Mr. Cheeks and Method Man. The track is set to appear on Sermon's forthcoming album, Go, which he's funding through a Kickstarter campaign.
"Come Thru" boasts a steady beat centered around stomping drums and an austere string loop. Sermon opens the track with a boastful verse filled with cheeky wordplay like, "I'm spur of the moment and you make plans/ Them don't blow air, them real fans." Mr. Cheeks follows with the tune's subtle hook and a verse of his own, while Craig Mack and Method Man close out the cut with their own swaggering bars.
"'Come Thru' is a party record; a regular freestyle record," Sermon tells Rolling Stone. "The mixture [of Method Man, Mr. Cheeks and Craig Mack] makes a good club record. Getting everyone to collaborate is like friends getting back together. Everyone who I'm on the record with I'm already friends with, so it's like a normal get-together."
Go will also feature guest appearances from Pharrell, AZ, Redman, Too Short, Styles P, Ghostface Killah, Big K.R.I.T, Devin The Dude, Rockwilder, Rico Barrino and Kid Capri. Sermon will release the album on his new independent label, Def Squad Records.
Sermon is hoping to raise $60,000 via Kickstarter to finish the album. The money will primarily go towards financing the samples, hiring a sound engineer and covering the costs of marketing the album. Sermon also hopes to use the money to build Def Squad Records, foster new rappers and R&B artists and fund a video production arm with filmmaker Shock B.
"My goal is just for people to listen, and for people to see how dope the album is," Sermon says. "My success for this album would be for people to like what they're hearing. Having the Kickstarter means the people are actually gonna have this record and buy it and listen to it. That's all an artist really wants: someone who checks out the product and enjoys what they're listening to without all the politics of having to cut 10 singles or pay for radio. I really hope that fans will feel that the album has great music and a great sound. The most important thing is the conversation. Hip hop records gave you a conversation and made you aware of what's happening in the world at this present moment."
To promote the campaign, Sermon released a video detailing the album. "Kickstarter is a great way for the fans to help me build this label from the ground up and put out new great talent like I always used to do," Sermon says in the video. "To be able to collectively have a house of my own music and let the fans be part of something great."
Fans who donate to Sermon's Kickstarter campaign will be eligible for various rewards. A $15 donation ensures a digital copy of Go, $55 comes with two tickets to an album release party in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, and for $2,500 Sermon is offering a private studio session.
"I want to bring the balance back to rap music and make songs that are not just about sex, drugs and money, and to give real music a chance," Sermon says. "I want people to look at other creativity other then the same-old same-old and ask when are we gonna take the left turn and realize what J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar had done to make a balance in this rap game. The reason I'm starting this label is because I'm tired of hearing the depiction of what black people look like in the conversation. I want to make a balance in the culture, so it won't be one-sided."