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1 January, 2002@12:00 am

Who would have thought that it would ever come back to this? In today’s industry of big-name producers using expensive equipment and 100+ track studios to churn out the next batch of slickly produced radio hits, there stands a skinny white kid who seems oblivious to it all. Perhaps the 23-year-old Edan has been locked in his basement for the last 10 years, with nothing but a cassette deck, and collection of rap tapes dating back no later than 1990, as his only source of entertainment and inspiration. Or maybe Edan simply likes hip-hop’s golden age best of all, and is doing everything in his power to preserve it with Primitive Plus.

Those who were listening to hip-hop in the 1980′s will undoubtedly appreciate this album, but so will those listeners who jumped on within the last five to ten years, as Edan’s music flawlessly seams the raw production of the early days, with the experimental, off-the-wall flows of today. Not only that, this young prodigy is also a “One Man Arsenal”, showing his skills at hip-hop’s triathlon, excelling as an emcee, deejay, and producer.

The 808 beats on this album may throw younger listeners for a curveball, as they are incredibly gritty, paying homage to a number of early hip-hop all-stars, such as “Humble Magnificent”, which would make Showbiz proud, or “Migrane”, which sounds like it could have ended up somewhere on Eric B. & Rakim’s Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em. Edan even goes as far as to do an impersonation of one of his forefathers, a pre-Octagon era Kool Keith, as he flawlessly spits Rhythm X’s style on “Ultra ’88 (Tribute)”, fooling the audience into believing this was a leftover from Critical Beatdown.

It may take the more straightforward emcee smashing and vocabulary acrobatics on tracks like “You Suck”, “Mic Manipulator”, “Syllable Practice (Original)”, or “Rapperfection” (feat. Mr. Lif ) to reel in the average listener, but a few listens to the album and you’ll be cracking a smile at his funnier selections like “Emcees Smoke Crack” or “Run That Shit!”. Even stranger yet are tracks like “Number One Hit Record” and “Primitive Plus”, as Edan serves up hilarious and equally poetic emceeing on each, with plenty of rewind value here, and not much fast-forwarding necessary at all.

Like Jurassic 5 are today’s preservationists of the Cold Crush era, Edan holds that same title for the Cold Chillin’ era. We’ve seen emcees try to take it back with measly remakes and cover-songs for the sake of nostalgia, but no one can do it better than Edan, who’s recorded an original album in 2001, which could easily be mistaken for something that was over ten-years old. Not since J-Zone has an artist emerged with such raw-talent, originality, plus the strength of an emcee and a producer, excelling equally in both areas. And where else in 2002 are you going to find a rapper who ends his verse with “My occupation’s rockin’ nations and I treasure the job. It’s like that!”. Fresh.

  Mixtape D.L.
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