"Some Real Shit": Edo. G states his biz on friends and foes
Would and wanna be rhymsayers and beatmakers breathe easy. It turns out you don't have to take your equipment back to the store or forsake the rap life for that opening at UPS. At least that's what veteran emcee Edo. G thinks. The proud Bostonian, best known for his early 90's hits party-starter "I Gotta Have It" and biological-didn't-bother admonishment "Be a Father to Your Child", has a lot on his mind including hearty encouragement (gasp!) for rap aspirants, a new album, My Own Worst Enemy with Soul Brother #1 Pete Rock, and some satisfied words on the Boston Red Sox recent triumph and its propitious implications for the Boston hip hop scene. While bravado is a part of the hip hop credo, the gravelly voiced Edo. G is as refreshingly down to earth as he is down for this hip hop shit. He expresses as much enthusiasm for his new album and upcoming projects from his multiracial Boston rap trio Special Teams as any upstart without the tomfoolery not that Edo. G doesn't have jokes though. In a recent conversation with Prefix Edo. G admitted that he was driven to elevate his rhymes not 'cause he love the kids (although he does) but so he wouldn't "sound sucky" over Pete Rock's consistently banging beats. Don't call it a comeback. Rap aficionados know that the original one has consistently put out material since his recording debut thirteen years ago and don't call it indie/backpack rap, not that there's anything wrong with that, because as Boston's finest explains in the following exchange, "It's some real shit."
[more:]Prefix Magazine: I was listening to that track "Sayin' Something" that Premier produced and you compare yourself to Pedro Martinez. How does that description capture your contribution to hip hop music?
Edo. G: I would say definitely a veteran. [I] been puttin' in work. [I] have some ups and downs but still manage to come out on top and keep doing what I love to do. Not having to conform to anything and just being free to do it and try to get out a positive message to the people at the same time. PM: For quite some time, keepin' on Boston, you 'been repping Boston. We see even recently different regions have been able to come up: the Midwest, the south. What's going on with the Boston hip hop scene?
Edo. G: Well I think [in] 2005 the whole New England is about to explode on the map including Western, Connecticut, Hartford, Springfield, Worcester, Boston, Lawrence. It's so, so many spots out here in New England. We're like the only region that doesn't really get a lot of shine. You know with the Red Sox success and the Patriots it's just like the curse is really lifted. I think a lot of shine is gonna come to us and a lot of people are making a lot of good music that's coming out in 2005: you got a cat like Dre Robinson, Smoke Bulga, my main Jaysaun, L da Headtoucha. It's a lot of cats that's doing a lot of really big records that could go mainstream and its not just your average backpack indie record. It's some real shit. PM: On the subject of the backpack/indie categorization, you have always, as that song said "sa[id] something", in your music. I remember as a kid listening to "Be a Father to your Child" and it was a great song, they played it on the radio and everything. It banged but also had a message to people. How do you characterize your sound, your music? Is it message rap, conscious rap?
Edo. G: Nah, it's pretty much a whole person because no one can be totally positive 24/7. So I don't want to give off that kind of image. And that's not a bad thing to have too but at the same time you know I'm a human just like everybody else. I have my faults and I have things that I can correct in my life just like everybody else. But you know, at the same time I still think with the power that we have and the medium that it reaches so many people I think we just need to as artists say a little more to the youth. PM: On what songs are you addressing this new generation-the youth?
Edo. G: "School 'em" on my new album. That joint right there is just basically talking about all the things that go on. And the song "Right now" with me and Pete Rock together on the album. Both of those songs are addressing what's going on. If you listen to my album and you listen to the lyrics you'll hear it throughout. You know what I mean. It just comes out in everything I do. PM: Now you mentioned Pete Rock. He does what seven tracks on this album?
Edo. G: Yeah, yeah. He did seven out of the ten. PM: How did you guys connect? Did you guys know each other for a while?
Edo. G: I knew him since back in the days. And I always wanted to do something with him and in my last album I got the opportunity, The Truth Hurts. He did a song called "Situations." From there, I told him that I wanted to hook up with him and do some more stuff and came up with the idea to do this and it just fit. PM: Working with Pete Rock- does it change your style at all? What's different about this?
Edo. G: His beats bang! His beats are crazy still to this day. I think there's not appreciation for cats that still can do their thing. And Pete is one of those cats. He hasn't lost his step with the beats. They can be on the radio right now, half of the shit that he got. You know what I mean. It was great. It elevated. Lyrically it brought out the best in me. 'Cause I don't want to sound sucky on some Pete Rock beats. I think it's a good fit. You know I just wanted to do a project that was different from all of the other projects that I had did. I wanted to do an Edo. G and Pete Rock project as opposed to just another Edo. G album. PM: Who's handling the other three tracks?
Edo. G: This album seven songs by Pete Rock, Diamond D did one song, Insight did one and DJ Revolution. PM: Don't you do production for some other artists?
Edo. G: I actually don't do production myself. I did the production in the past. I have a group called Special Teams featuring my man Jaysaun and this other cat named Slain. We have an album coming out next year. PM: Jaysaun 's on this album?
Edo. G: Yeah he's all over the album. He's on like four or five songs. PM: So what's up with Da Bulldogs?
Edo. G: They chillin'. We all still family. That's my boys from day one. They're working on some stuff and they're planning on coming out with record sometime next year. PM: So how do you keep busy outside of hip hop. You've been doing this recording wise for 13 years? What else keeps you busy?
Edo. G: The music. 24/7. That's life. That's all we do right here. Actually a label that I'm working for and a part of is called Straight Up Entertainment and its out here in Worcester, Massachusetts. We're out here in the office every day building this up for the group album for the Jaysaun solo album and this other guy L da Headtoucha. I'm up in the office every day and we're just trying to grind it out. Get everything poppin'. PM: I've been to Boston only once or twice but I have some friends who have lived there and they were talking about the racial tensions there.
Edo. G: I have experienced it in the past as a youth and as a teenager. Any major city is more of a metropolis than a melting pot. It's still obviously gonna be racism always. At this point I think people have learned to get along and live together. Now you have gentrification going on in black neighborhoods It's still always gonna be racism, always. Now you have gentrification going on in black neighborhood. And the property in the hood is skyrocketing. I think right now the racial stuff it doesn't really go on. A guy in the group with me Slain, he's a white cat and he's from south Boston. We're bringing different elements of Boston together with this group. I'm from Roxbury, he's from Southie, and my man Jaysaun's from Dorchester. We're bringing the city together, right there! PM: Are you gonna be touring to support this album?
Edo. G: I'm actually trying to work on that right now. I got a talk to Pete. I talked to him and Masta Ace. It would be real dope if we could do Pete Rock, Master Ace, Edo. G tour. It would be crazy. Next year. I'm working on that right now and I'm a get that poppin' real hard and try to make that happen.