If you’re a fan of hip-hop music, you grew up in the 80’s and you’re currently in re-design mode, check out Erick Sermon’s Def Rugs.
Sermon is one-half of the legendary hip-hop group EPMD, one of the celebrated groups from what we affectionately call “the golden years” of hip-hop when EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Eric B. & Rakim, Black Sheep, NWA, and others dominated the airwaves – when originality was relentlessly served up, hit after hit.
Gone are those days, as most hip-hop historians have sadly agreed, but you can memorialize your favorite artists with one of Sermon’s custom-designed, high-end studio rugs.
When he’s not touring with a few of his famous friends from back in the day or dropping new albums (he has one coming out July 18), the 46-year old, New York native is tending to Def Rugs, which he owns with a business partner. The rugs are inspired by the names and logos of the “vintage” hip-hop artists from his generation.
Sermon says the idea was brought to him.
“One of my friends, who is a producer, asked me to do him a favor regarding an LP he was working on. I agreed to help and when he offered me payment, I told him he didn’t need to pay me. So, he said he was going to find a way to re-pay me. He came to my house with a rug with the EPMD logo on it. An idea sparked in my brain and three years later, here we are,” he shares with TNJ.com.
And, according to Sermon, the response has been off the charts.
“Our client base consists of those who are familiar with logos from the artists we chose – mostly from the 80s. The rugs look great. People took to them so quickly. They have the rugs on their walls and their floors in their offices or recording studios; people love them. When I check my inbox these days, I have so many responses. I checked recently and had messages from Fabolous and Pharrell [Williams],” he says.
The rugs were first unveiled by a member of NWA when Sermon was working with the group on a film. The member held up one of the rugs at an industry event, and from there, the rugs gained instant popularity.
And apparently, it’s not just our generation who is interested in these decorative gems.
“We even get orders from younger artists because they want a piece of that time in hip-hop that was so special and so original. What we had was genuine. We call it the golden era for a reason. That’s why the rugs are doing so well,” notes Sermon.
In a sense, these logos have become art. It’s difficult to walk down a New York City street and not see someone, from any and all age groups, sporting a RUN-DMC t-shirt.
What’s next for Sermon?
“I’ve done a documentary called “88” which will hopefully be out in September. It’s the first movie/documentary that talks about her powerful my era is. We come from an era of no tweeting. That’s why we are having the same conversation today. Ignorance is at a high. In the 80’s, everybody just did their thing,” he says.
Priced at anywhere from $200 to $1,000 depending on the rug, the rugs are sold online on the Def Rugs website.