Ijuswannachill

Award Tour (Stop 2)

We’ve arrived at the second stop on the Award Tour and this is gonna be sloppy as hell. I’m just gonna wing it and see what happens. I first heard Edan when I was in high school and it was basically just some funny ass shit. I think the first Edan song I heard was Sing It Shitface. Hilarious song. But there was something more to it than humor. While other emcees were rapping about beatin the shit out of you, Edan is talkin about “takin shitty emcee’s tongues to the frozen flagpoles”. That shit is not only hilarious, but so clever and even smart in a way because he is clearly mocking the sub-par battle-raps of the early 2000’s.

And as a side note, I want to refer to the phrase I just wrote: “While other emcees were rapping about beatin the shit out of you”. I really am intrigued about the idea that when you listen to most rap songs, they are dissing someone, and its always ‘you’. The rapper is always talking to YOU, the listener, and they’re always dissing you (and me if I’m the one listening). Why do we like that? They will say something absurd like “look at me wrong and ill fuck you up!”  Are we that envious that we convince ourselves that we are on their side, part of his crew, that when he says those things we convince ourselves that he is talking to someone else? Like “he aint talkin about me, im his boy, but everyone else better watch out!” Fuck that, I just dont quite understand the relationship. Just somethin to think about. The cocky mc talkin shit to you the fan, and you love it! I think the term “you” in hiphop is reserved for the outsider. you know, the hater, the cracker, the man, the enemy, the antagonist. It definitely is not ‘the fan’ or rappers would have millions of pissed off fans. But what am i even rambling about, this is supposed to be the award tour! I told you this would be a mess.

So as I was saying. Edan started out so funny and released a couple albums of hilarity. He was very clever with his humor and sprinkled just a tiny sample of how ‘wise to the hiphop culture’ he really is. I read an interview where he said that everything he released up to that point was mostly just expirimentation and he was still trying to find out what path to follow with his production and rappin.

Then he released Beauty And The Beat. He didnt just fine tune his production and his rapping, but he figured out how to combine them both into the same entity.

The production is crazy. I once referred to it as ‘Steppenwolf meets hiphop’. He didnt just produce the beats though, he produced the vocals as well. And thats ‘as well’ meaning ‘as good’ not ‘as well’ meaning ‘also’. What makes this album for me is the vocals. Ive never before heard a voice on a record sound like this.

I mentioned an interview I read before. In that interview he also said he hates how everyone uses the soundproof booths and flawless mics and equipment because it takes all the color out of it. Those werent his exact words but you get the idea. He said something like he likes to be able to hear the rappers regular voice and even picture the room they are in and what kind of pants they are wearing (obviously dropping some humor into the mix again). But he has a point. And Im only 25 years old so any rap album released during my raplife was all the same vocally so I didnt really know what he meant until I started listening to older shit before my time, or until I heard ‘Beauty And The Beat’. And its obvious he studies the older shit and knows it well..just listen to “fumbling over words that rhyme”.

The things he did with his voice on this album are incredible. Pre and post production. Listen to the way he enunciates everything. His consonants are percussion in themselves. I’ve never heard a delivery quite like his on ‘Beauty’. Enough rambling, lets break it down!

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EDAN – BEAUTY AND THE BEAT

1.  Polite Meeting – basically an intro, edan fuckin with the beats and the scratches. This track is foreshadowing what you’re about to experience throughout the album: crazy rock-influenced samples and sounds put together nicely so they dont sound crazy at all.

2. Funky Voltron (ft Insight) – Underrated song, even by me. I love when two emcees go back and forth line for line. One line Edan says “When he ain’t speak” and Insight finishes with “He speaks on my behalf”. Thats the basis of this song.

3. I See Colours – I said before how edan uses his consonants as percussion. Listen to the very begining of this song “PPPPrince Paul already used this looP”  What the fuck are those spaceship sounds throughout the beat. And somehow they work and the beat is actually quite melodic somehow.

4. Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme – Sick vocal sample on the hook, which the song opens up with. Listen how he plays the sample, then plays it again except fuckin with it so it’s all slurrish, so its fumbling. Anyways, this song is a history lesson paying tribute to the pioneers of hip hop. And he kills it. He flows with so much energy like its a hardcore battle rhyme. And in a werid way it is a battle rhyme. How could any rapper fuck with Edan when Edan just schooled you kid! He didn’t fuck your girl or take your chain, but he basically just told all wack rappers to shut the fuck up, cuz you will never be on his level.

5. Murder Mystery – I haven’t really studied this song enough to figure out what he is trying to say here. It is very uniquely written and I think there is something more to it than just imagery. Its a nice track to listen to though, and short. The sample (from a movie?) at the end is so funny. “Oh, torture chambers? God Damn, I havent heard no shit like that in years.”

6. Torture Chamber (ft Percee P) – Percee doin his monotone hyperflow acting like its nothing new, cuz its not for him. Percee P…haha…I mean, its probably really difficult to write and flow the way he does but the end product just isn’t worth it. He’s probably underrated I would say. Edan dances over this beat crazily. He manipulates his voice perfectly making it another instrument in the song. He can sound like a nerdy teenager and like Michael Clarke Duncan, all within a four word phrase and transition between the two smoothly.

7. Making Planets (ft Mr Lif) – I usually dont like, or understand, why a beat would change halfway through a song. But it works here, given the whole feel of the album. It starts with Edan talkin crazy shit…but not just to sound crazy. He obviously chooses every single word on this album wisely. His flow in this song is so fun to listen to. And as a bonus he says “the music is rap, my favorite color (colour?) is math, the plan of attack, is bless the planet with wax”. You know he is on some other shit when he says “my favorite color is math”. And I dont mean some other shit like Necro is on some other shit. He is on some very creative other shit haha. Then the intermission of this song is crazy. It sounds like a horror movie and continuously builds and eventually the beat drops and Lif starts spittin immediately. The stuttered beat and guitar riff match Lif perfectly. It almost sounds like Lif is trying too hard to match Edan’s crazy talk here, or even like he didn’t write his verse. But that would never happen. Lif pulls it off and his small portion of ‘Beauty’ is among the highlights of a great album.

8. Time Outt – Just a time out. Electric Guitar sample tweaked all crazy and builds then blends right into the next track.

9. Rock And Roll (ft Dagha) – I dont know much about Dagha but he’s alright, and even better due to the help of Edan’s expertise freakin with vocals. This track is alright. Another track that just fits the album perfectly and sticks with the gameplan.

10. Beauty – What makes this album great is how he doesnt follow the rules on producing. There is no formula he follows such as: hook – 16 bars – hook etc. Instead he just does what he wants to. Listen to the drums in this song. They dont dictate when he starts/ends a verse. The drums come and go just as much as any other element in the song. You dont notice at first though, because the drums are not the main focus of the beat, unlike almost every other rap song ever made. When you know how to make your voice an instrument, you dont need to rely on drums or other sounds to carry you along.

11. The Science Of The Two (ft Insight) – A lot like Funky Voltron overall. Also, the beat changes up here. I just love hearing how Edan (and Insight) comes off. Who else would ever say ” fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em” and make it sound fine. That is against the rules! I guess he didnt get the memo which is awesome.

12. Smile – Electric guitar feedback never sounded so good. This song is as deep as Edan is gonna get on this album. Its about a rapper doin concerts and everyone loves him, but he feels empty. What an awesome sample to take us out: “He gives the show of his life though hes breaking down, although you never know it. But theres something different about him now, he’s painted his smile on upside down”. Thats funny to me cuz when I was like 6 my stepdad spraypainted a smiley face on something in his garage and labeled it “Mike” my brother. And I told him to draw me and he did a sad face and labeled it “Steve” me. I was so fuckin pissed hahahahahaha. Its so funny how hiphop can remind you of things that otherwise would have been forgotten forever.

13. Promise Land – This song is fuckin amazing. You might recognize the verse from his feature on Count Bass D’s “Dwight Spitz”. But this time he pulls off some shit that is almost impossible to dream of. He just resets a line whenever he wants. There’s not even a forumla to it (its not like he resets every other line or whatever). It seems random if you pay close attention, but by now we know nothing Edan does musically is random. And he plays with his voice so much in this song and its awesome. Like when he says “thats when civilians were made of metal…..thats when ciVILians were made of  MET-tal” He says it pretty normally at first, then resets to show you how it should be done!

I know this stop on the Award Tour was pretty sloppy. The driver is drunk so what do you expect? Anyways, listen to Beauty And The Beat. It is a great learning tool.  Peace

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December 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

808s Update!!

I was just watching The Borne Identity for the first time and Matt Damon’s character is trying to figure out who he is because his memory got erased or something. He is in a diner with a girl he got a ride with and told her he doesnt remember anything. But he says some shit like “i know the waitres is left handed, the cook is a good fighter, in this altitude i can run flat our for a half mile before my hands start to shake, i know all the license plates of the cars outside, i know the best place to find a gun is in the cab of the grey truck outside…….now how would i know all that, but dont know who i am?” woooooooooooooo! hit the nail right on the head. he knows hes a warrior, a fighter, a machine. He knows what he is, but he forgot who he is. Kanye knows what he is, but forgot who he is. He isnt denying that he doesnt remember who he is, just like damons character. He wants to remember so bad, but he is engulfed in what he is, instead of who he is. crazy, i know. i surprise myself sometimes! peace

December 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment