Long since his days of making noise with Da Bulldogs in the early-90s, Edo G has retained his no-nonsense approach to rocking the mic. With his steady flow and enlightening lyrics still intact, Edo has no reservation in dubbing himself “Boston’s best.” To some, this self-given title may be disputable. Nonetheless Edo is unswayed by nay sayers. And the fact that a golden era alumnus like Pete Rock came through and produced the majority of Edo’s new album says a lot about this MC’s talent. After all, only a select few (C.L. Smooth, Nas and Freddie Foxxx among the best) have been blessed with Pete’s production. Thus, My Own Worst Enemy proves to be a brief yet consistently strong effort.
While not quite as introspective as the title may lead you to believe, what this album does depict is a socially-alert lyricist who admittedly represents neither gangsta nor backpack rap. As Edo raps on the opening cut, “Boston”, “I’m a throwback from the ’90s whose return is timely for hip-hop consciousness that’s grimy.” Edo’s grimy consciousness is delivered most effectively on his lesson to young bucks wanting to enter the oft-corrupt music industry (“School’em”) and on his look into how a life of crime will come back to haunt you (“Pay The Price”). But Edo ain’t preaching. He’s merely sharing his sound advice.
And Pete Rock’s melodic, multilayered production sets the perfect mood for each cut–from the triumphant (“Just Call My Name”) to the the emotive (“Pay The Price”). Pete even provides the chorus on multiple occasions and drops a verse on the live-in-the-now anthem “Right Now”. But DJ Supreme One proves to be adequate comp for Pete on the moving, Martin Luther King-inspired “Wishing”, featuring Masta Ace. Over a soulful guitar loop, Edo drops lines like, “I wish my people stopped avoiding the truth/ BET stopped poisoning youth/ We need changes for teenagers as they go through phases/ more than just a concrete jungle–a world of green acres,” which are bound to get people thinking.
Despite the strength of Supreme’s “Wishing” instrumental, my one complaint about this album is if Pete Rock’s name is on the cover as visible as Edo’s, why didn’t he just lace all ten tracks instead of seven? Edo G’s latest remains tight throughout, but utilizing one producer would have resulted in an even more congruous record.
While not quite a classic, My Own Worst Enemy is a must own album for fans of Pete Rock, Edo G and gimmick free hip-hop reminiscent of the music that these two artists made over ten years ago.
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