Erick Sermon was half of the influential rap duo EPMD, who changed the game with their mellow flows and funky production. After EPMD's demise in 1993, Sermon found work with various emcees eager to take advantage of his production skills. He put together classic debut albums from Das Efx, as well as Redman and Keith Murray, both of whom became his cohorts in the Def Squad crew. EPMD re-formed briefly in 1997, and Sermon went on to release several solo compilation-style albums. He scored a huge hit in 2001 with the Marvin Gaye-assisted single "Music," and returned the next year with React.