Stories of what could have been.
Unashamed of sharing his L’s, another portion of EPMD legend Erick Sermon’s interview with the No Filter Podcast has surfaced. We previously reported that Sermon shared that he was asked to produce a track for Nas’s Illmatic, but he passed on the opportunity because he wasn’t vibing with rising rapper’s street sound. Sermon also stated that Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace asked to be featured on one of Sermon’s records, but he told him no because he wasn’t sure if it would be a good look.
Now, Sermon tells the tale of artists he could have signed back in the day. “I was on Raekwon’s steps and he was Shallah at the time and he wanted to sign with me. He’ll tell you the story,” Sermon said, adding that he told Raekwon that he wasn’t really in a position to ink deals with anyone. “[I was] too young at the time to know what to do with something like that. Too young.”
Sermon also said that he passed up opportunities to sign Ludacris and The Game. As far as Luda was concerned, Sermon thought the young rapper sounded too much like Redman. “If you would have heard the demos, you would have really thought that,” he said. “And then, again, him having the afro look. It was a whole thing that he came with, but me and Luda became good friends. When Luda got signed, he called me and asked me where should he go to… I told him to go to Def Jam.”
The EPMD icon shared that he met The Game while he was walking around L.A.’s Fox Hills mall. He told Game to “spit 16” but the young rapper didn’t know what Sermon meant. “Game knew how to rhyme, but he didn’t have a format of being that.” Later, Sermon met up with Game and G-Unit early on in the Compton rapper’s career. The two talked about their first meeting and Sermon admitted to Game that he wasn’t upset that he signed to G-Unit because, like Raekwon and Luda, Sermon admitted he “wasn’t ready.”
Watch Sermon chat candidly about a few of his missed opportunities below.