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by Oliver Wang
1 January, 1997@12:00 am
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Maybe it’s just because we’re all getting older (ok, at least some of us are) but Edan’s retro-88 hip-hop style manages to be both invigorating and comforting because of its familiarity. A more forward-minded critic might deride him for just recycling Marley Marl and Ced Gee’s beat science and failing to innovate but I disagree. You don’t need to be the Anti-Pop Consortium just to sound next level – Edan picks up where many simply abandoned and he’s a smart – and dedicated – enough artist to pull it off. For one thing, his rhyme patterns and, in his word, “syllable practice”, is contemporary; a quick-spit style that’s usually more clever than profound, but digs into the beats like a wedgie does your ass crack. As for his beats, yes, they’re pretty rough-hewn especially compared to the prettiness of, say, Just Blaze’s studio soul, but haven’t we all had enough of the Neptunes for a while? What’s wrong with some bash-your-head, overmodulated drum blasts (like on “Humble Magnificent”) or the chaotic fury of “Adrenaline Rush” or the slick SP flavor of “Dope Rhymes For Sure”? Simple, accessible and packing more flavor than a semi loaded with MSG. On this 12″ – his third so far – Edan packs it to the gills with tracks (count ‘em, four, plus two instrumentals). “Mic Manipulator” is a pleasant enough song from the Primitive Plus album, especially with its quirky piano loop, reminiscent of something Prince Paul might have whipped up for De La circa 3 Ft. High. Edan’s lyrics are typically long on style though a little short on substance – “well, I’m the rhyme regulator/mic manipulator /teradachtyl / there and back to terminate ya/super duper classic for the dick head gerbil/kids go red carpet/when I flip fresh verbal.” “Humble Magnificent” is a head-basher but I tired from the repetitive drum loop and two note horn stabs by the first chorus. Luckily, “Adrenaline Rush” (which is not on the album as far as I know) revitalized with another hyped-up effort split between Skillz Fergason laid over another frantic horn and drum loop. Another bonus cut, “Dope Rhymes For Sure” takes it back mid-tempo and more ridiculous lyrics from the Beantown bomber: “my titanium, tri-cranium/maintains a third brain/that’s dedicated to word games”. Sicker than anthrax-laden cocaine snorted off broken glass. Longevity Index: Four months, or until that fucking album finally drops. Don’t keep us waiting too long dunny.

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