The Hit Squad was a 90s hip hop collective of East Coast artists formed by EPMD (Erick “E-Double” Sermon and Parrish “PMD” Smith). The Hit Squad was one of the earlier established collectives to influence the late 90s. They started the trend of artists having success within the music industry, then using that success to help and nurture up and coming artists (often friends from the neighborhood) within the same field. The original crew was at their peak from 1990-1993, and unfortunately disbanded when EPMD broke up for the 1st time in 1993.
Here were the members.
EPMD: The dynamic duo Erick and Parrish Making Dollars. These guys are definitely true legends. They`ve been active for the past three decades (barring a couple of break ups), and are considered a very influential, if not the most prominent, rap duo/group from the East Coast.They are the only rap duo/group to have their first 4 albums (out of 7) listed as a near or instant classic.
DJ Scratch (From EPMD): The 3rd official DJ of EPMD. Also known as Jam Master DJ Scratch, he’s the 1988 New Music Seminar Battle For World Supremacy DJ champion, 3 time Grammy nominated multi platinum producer, the 2010 Master Of The Mix winner and the 2012 & 2013 Global Spin Awards Turntablist Of The Year.
Redman: Reggie Noble, also known as The Funk Doctor Spock. He’s an American actor, rapper, DJ and record producer. He is also well known for his collaborations with Wu Tang Clan member Method Man, as one-half of the rap duo Method Man & Redman. The two also had starring roles in films and sitcoms together. Redman has about a dozen albums under his belt. Those include solo projects as well as collaborative ones.
K-Solo: Born Kevin Madison, he is known as the “Original Rap Criminal”. He was the one who released the original “Spellbound” song. There was a feud with rapper DMX a while back, regarding the authenticity of the song. Solo released 2 albums.
Das EFX: A duo consisting of Dray (aka Krazy Drayz) and Skoob (aka Books). They rose to popularity with their stream of consciousness coupled with an impressive lyrical delivery, which became one of the most influential lyrical styles in hip hop music at the time. Their unique style combined nonsensical lines with a fast-paced flow (which included words that end with “iggedy” was often imitated by other artists. They managed to produce 5 albums over the years.
Keith Murray: Before recording as Keith Murray, he was known to have traded verses with Big Daddy Kane under the name of MC Do Damage. He had one of the most distinct and recognizable flows of the Golden Age era. It was difficult to ignore his unrelenting, aggressive, in your face delivery and lyrical prowess that grabbed hold of the listeners. He was introduced to Erick Sermon by K-Solo, and became a member of the Hit Squad after EPMD`s first break up. He released 6 albums.
KnuckleHedz: The group consisted of Tom J the Savage and Steve Austin. They were original members of the 1st Hit Squad line up. Their only album Strictly Savage was recorded in 93`but was shelved after the EPMD breakup.
Hurricane G: The Hurricane G was the Hit Squad`s first female member. She has a daughter with Erick Sermon. She released 2 albums and made appearances on albums by Redman and Keith Murray.
Top Quality: After appearing in The Source magazine`s famed Unsigned Hype column, he eventually caught the eye of Parrish “PMD” Smith who made him a member of the Hit Squad. He released the album Magnum Opus in 93`and made appearances on PMD`s Shade Business in 1994 and 3rd Eye`s Planets in 1998, but has not been heard of since.
Jesse West aka 3rd Eye: He’s a prolific producer and rapper. As a producer (Jesse West), he went on to produce hit songs for many artists such as GZA, Xzibit, Heavy D and KRS-One to name a few. He was one of Bad Boy Records` original “Hitmen”. He recorded Biggie Smalls’ first demo as well as produced remixes for songs on Mary J. Blige’s album, What’s the 411? and Super Cat`s hit single “Dolly My Baby (Remix)”. As the rapper 3rd Eye, it has been argued that he was the first rapper to use the term “Bling” on Super Cat`s 1993 hit “Dolly My Baby (Remix)” which featured Puff Daddy and a young Biggie Smalls in his record debut. Jesse West continues to create tracks and produce music for other artists.