Share it Please
All forms of creation have a previous precedent. To say music is no exception to this rule is a massive understatement. To go one step further, though a shallow (30 years) history...
Hip Hop also has a previous precedent. Now, Hip Hop theorists and historians can argue till their blue in the face about the commercialization of Hip Hop. Cases can be made for 80's acts such as Run DMC, Eric B & Rakim or LL Cool J. Sheer numbers point more towards the early 90's when acts such as Naughty by Nature and Dr. Dre became almost household names. It seems a rejuvenation of those times may be headed our way for 2005.
Peaking through the 2005 bullet train window of indie Hip Hop is Edo.G. Most notably remembered for his #1 (Hot Raps) single' I got to have it', and more recently for his 2001 LP 'Truth Hurts', Edo.G will release his sixth album in November 2004 titled 'My Own Worst Enemy'. Produced by another familiar name Pete Rock, Edo sang praises of his producer. 'For 'Truth Hurts' I told him I wanted to work with him, and just do an album opposed to what everybody else had been doing.' Edo recalled as he relaxed at home with his 3-year-old son. 'He always made dope beats.'
Since the Billboard commercialization of Hip Hop in the 90's, it has become more common for an artist to spit out a release just about every year. Instead of making 3 radio singles and 18 tracks of mediocre crap, Edo.G has decided to re-visit the methods of his predecessors. 'The most nerve racking thing was the time it took to record the entire album it could have been done in 3 months, instead it took like two years to get to this point.' Edo wants to head back to the good old days, a time he refers to as the Golden Age of Hip Hop. 'I think there was a lot of people who were doing this. A Tribe Called Quest, Grand Nubian'¦ Myself. At that time there was so much quality instead of quantity.' Arguably it's most often the pressure coming from the recording that pushes artists into making mediocre music. Edo didn't worry about pumping out song after song. 'No, not at all because I know who my fans are. I'm kind of catering to the people who I know are going support what I do.' Further explaining it's not always about greasy record executives and the fat cat pockets. 'On a independent label like Fat Beats we're not even trying to reach the Jay-Z people. You got to know who you're targeting. We're targeting people who buy Hip Hop records. So there isn't that kind of pressure. I mean I think it's really upon yourself, I really feel no pressure with everyone I work with. And I try to just give my best every time.'
Even though times have changed and Edo's recording strategy has not since he entered back in 1991, I asked him if he thought his lyrical focus had changed. 'Not too much, you grow wiser'¦different things happen in your life. I talk about different events and situations. I am definitely elevating to a higher level.' But not just in the recording studio. Edo talked a bit about his recent situation. 'I just did a tour with Masta Ace in Europe, and that was crazy. (It was) a great experience to get out on the road with Ace, he's a dope performer and I definitely learned a lot from him.' Which brings us to the newer generation feel on this record, guest stars. Along with Masta Ace guest starring on track seven, 'Wishing', you'll find other guest stars such as Diamond D, Krumb Snatcha and Jaysuan who is featured on one of Edo's favorite tracks on the new album, 'Just Call My Name'. 'It's a rumbling beat, the bass line is really thick, and you gotta play it really loud to get the full effect. Pete was playing beats and I hadn't linked up with him for 3 months and we did that joint on the spot at Unique Studios. It was a good vibe right in Times Square. You could look out the window and see all the lights in Manhattan, it was real inspiring. Jaysuan is an up and coming cat with The Kreators, that's my partner right there. He's got an album called 'Bakers Man'. It's coming out in 05 off Str8 Up Entertainment.'
But its not just his peers that Edo has to thank for diverse sound and sketch. 'I'm from Boston, it makes me original. We got our own accent up here.. There's a lot of attention on New England right now, and I think 05 is going be a great year for us.' Being a lifelong resident in Roxbury, Edo's landscape may have begun with his childhood influences. 'So many groups my mom used to play. Earth Wind and Fire, Rick James, and I remember Tina Marie, 'Fire and Desire'. Those are just some of the main staples.' While we we're on the subject of influences, I had to get hypothetical on Edo. I asked what artist who has passed on would he bring back to life if I could give him that power. 'Probably 2 Pac'¦. Just because I think he was gonna go more into a positive direction after he finished those Death Row Records. Ya know'¦He started his own label, and I think he would have done a lot for the Hip Hop game cause he was from the hip hop era.'
As far as the future goes, he didn't hesitate when I asked him who he wanted to get into the studio with. 'Jadakiss., he's dope lyrically. He does his thing on the mic all the time. Pharrell, he's so creative. All his beats, they do their own thing.. Everything he does is blazed out. Pharrell we looking for you! We got some money for you (laughs).'
As I ask all my interview victims nowadays, and am almost always disappointed in an 'I don't know man, that's a tough question' answer, I asked Edo what remedy did he have for the Mp3 war the industry and its consumers have been fighting. For once I felt I was talking to a human and not a politician. 'I would just make a bigger independent market. Not just hip hop but records in general. There's a lot of cats out there with good indie records but no portal to put it out. A video station for indie music.' For more information on such a station check out www.imntv.com.
It seems as if Edo.G has more purpose and focus than most artists out there today, and he has no problem speaking on it in most of the tracks off the new album 'My Own Worst Enemy', scheduled to hit stores November 9th, 2004. Songs like track four 'School'em' are perfect examples of such focus. 'I breakaway from the norm cause its too clichÃ©, Remain conscious of the kids, the words we say.' Instead of digging for the next big hit, and grabbing hold of the fans all mighty buck like a thief in the night, it seems to be more of a pure path for Edo. Digging for the next realization of his love in music and love for those fans who feel it. Looking ahead, when Edo's son Khamari is running for President of the United States, and people look back on his pop's career, he doesn't ask for much. 'I just want people to think I made good records and didn't conform to what was really popular. That I just tried to make good hip-hop music that stands the test of time. I want my music to be played a thousand years from now.'