Top Quality

Last updated
Top Quality
Origin White Plains, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper
Years active1992–1998
Labels RCA
Associated acts EPMD, Hit Squad

Top Quality was an American rapper formally signed to RCA Records in the early 1990s. He was the first rapper from White Plains to get a major label record deal. [1]

RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records, Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG); however, RCA Records became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a merger between BMG and Sony Music, in 2004, and was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. It is the second-oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records.

After appearing in The Source magazine's Unsigned Hype, a column dedicated to finding unsigned talent, Top Quality eventually caught the eye of EPMD's Parrish "PMD" Smith, who made him a member of the rap collective Hit Squad and was subsequently signed a deal with RCA Records. His debut album, Magnum Opus was released in May 1994 and was executively produced by Smith himself. The album, however, was a commercial failure. Unlike other Hit Squad releases at the time, Magnum Opus failed to sell many copies and peaked at only 95 on the Billboard R&B charts. [2] [3]

EPMD American hip-hop group

EPMD is an American hip hop duo from Brentwood, New York. The duo's name is a concatenation of the members' names "E" and "PMD" or an acronym for "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars", referencing its members: emcees Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith. During an interview on college radio station WHOV in 1987, Parrish Smith stated that the name evolved from the original: "We were originally known as "EEPMD", but chose to go with EPMD because it was easier to say." He also stated that they dropped the two "E's" because N.W.A.'s Eric Wright was already using "Eazy-E" as his stage name. The group has been active for 33 years, and is one of the most prominent acts in east coast hip hop. DJ K La Boss and DJ Scratch were DJs for the group and their current DJ is DJ Diamond J.

The Hit Squad was a 1990s hip hop collective of East coast hip hop artists formed by Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith better known as EPMD. The collective separated when EPMD broke up for the first time in 1993, later reforming as Def Squad. The collective later reintroduced itself in 2006 as "Hit squad" with a sub division of new up and coming artists titled "Team Takeover" featuring artists such as Nymrod, Comatose, Nam Nitty, and the recent youngest member Michael Nixx.

<i>Magnum Opus</i> (Top Quality album) 1994 studio album by Top Quality

Magnum Opus was the only album released by Top Quality. The album was released on November 14, 1993 though RCA Records. Parrish "PMD" Smith of EPMD served as the album's executive producer.

After being released from RCA, Top Quality appeared on PMD's Shade Business in 1994 and 3rd Eye's Planets in 1998, but he has not been heard of since. Top quality is currently a member of Too Skinny, a local band in western new York.

<i>Shade Business</i> 1994 studio album by PMD

Shadē Business, is the solo debut album by PMD. it was released in September 27, 1994 by RCA Records. guest appearances by Das EFX, 3rd Eye, Top Quality, and Zone 7. with production by PMD, DJ Scratch, The 45 King and Jesse West.

Jesse West, a.k.a.3rd Eye is a producer/rapper. Jesse grew up in the Bronx River Projects, where the Master/Teacher DJ Afrika Bambaataa founded the Universal Zulu Nation.


YearTitleChart positions
U.S. R&B
1994 Magnum Opus
  • Released: May 24, 1994
  • Label: RCA

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  1. "Top Quality". West Cheddar. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  2. "Top Quality biography at". 2010-10-29.
  3. "Magnum Opus chart positions at". 2010-10-29.