Allhiphop.com’s got a great behind-the-LP piece up with Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith talking about everything that went into making their 1988 LP, Strictly Business.
My personal favorite nugget:
“It’s My Thing”
Produced By EPMD
Erick Sermon: This is an ill story too. We had the beat looped up from the break beat and we had the rhymes for the song written down. This is how we learned to make a chorus. Our label heard it and called in two guys called Special K and Teddy Ted. So K and Ted came to Long Island and listened to the record and took the break beat and added the drum roll.
Then they added the horns to end the chorus. When we had the beat we had the Lyla (“You Out There?”); but we didn’t have the ending of the chorus. That’s where I first learned to make a chorus by watching them put the chorus in that song.
Parish Smith: That was a normal Hip-Hop track from like the Bronx that they always played at the T Connection. That always got it when the MC’s got up; it was the “7 Minutes Of Funk.” That was always on all of the tapes so when it got time to record it was that.
I just remember Erick Sermon, years ago (this was probably the 90s), saying that people who heard Jay-Z’s “Ain’t No Ni**a” didn’t know that EPMD had flipped that track first. Check out the rest of the article for more great stuff about different samples they used, and how they were looping samples on tape. Pretty interesting read.