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The Def Squad

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Def Squad Records

Def Jam


The Def Squad

The Def Squad is team of long time friends Redman, Keith Murray and Erick Sermon, who separately have each had success as rap artists. Erick Sermon may sound familiar to you because he scored hit after hit for Def Jam as one-half of EPMD, and then later took Redman under his guidance and made him a star. The three first teamed up in 1997 on the memorable cover of the Sugar Hill Gang’s "Rapper’s Delight." The video for Def Squad’s version of "Rapper’s Delight" received heavy airplay on MTV and put the trio on the map. Spurred on by the success of their hit single, they issued their debut LP El Nino in 1998 on Def Jam. This is period where it is presumed that Erick Sermon teamed up with the Beastie Boys to record the "Body Movin’ Def Squad remix." Perhaps the two groups bumped into each other at the Masterdisk studio in New York as the final mixes were being completed on their albums.

Unlike most Beastie Boys remixes, the Erick Sermon’s Def Squad remix of "Body Movin’" added more than just beats. The Def Squad team actually replaced the original vocals with their own, leaving very little of the Beastie Boys’ initial contribution intact. It is perhaps for this reason that the track was not officially released. The "Body Movin’ Def Squad remix" has been available since 1998 though, thanks to MP3 file sharing systems like AudioGalaxy, Napster, and LimeWire.

The history of the "Def Squad Body Movin’ Remix" is somewhat unclear. One story that has been told states that Erick Sermon actually did several completed songs with the Beastie Boys around the time of Hello Nasty. None of these tracks were officially released, and since Sermon had already been compensated for his efforts the Grand Royal team figured that they might as well release Def Squad version of "Body Movin’" so the sessions would not be a total misadventure. The track is actually listed on the label of the "Body Movin’" twelve-inch record which was released in the United Kingdom back in 1998. The record itself does not feature the song, instead it was replaced with the Kut Masta Kurt "Body Movin Remix".

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