Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Edan - Beauty And The Beat LP


Lewis (2005)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for 25+ years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

Beauty And The Beat is probably the best hip hop album that I've heard the most recently.  Even though this came out nearly fifteen years ago at this point, I still consider it a modern album and don't group it in with my favorites from high school.  I got the CD version of this right when it had come out as I was familiar with Edan having worked on tracks with Mr. Lif and also a friend had recommended the first Edan record, Primitive Plus, to me.  I did like Primitive Plus, but it was on his sophomore release where Edan truly blew my mind.

The beats on this album are incredible.  They border on being psychedelic, but always stick to a tried and true rhythm that allows the rapping to stay focused and on point.  Edan takes chances as well and the biggest payoff for me is the album closer, "Promised Land."  Over a string fueled beat, the lyrics have this unique repeating quality where a line closes one section and then starts off the next.  It's difficult to explain without hearing it, but an example is "I slapped a 40-ounce out of a young man's hand / and fed him lesson's of life to formulate a plan / I wore the Prime Meridian as a wrist band... / I wore the Prime Meridian as a wrist band / and gave away my riches but I still remained a rich man / I thought of freedom and I jetted to the Promised Land"  It probably doesn't reads on paper as interesting as the actual execution sounds, but it's hands down one of my very favorite hip hop songs of all time.

Funny thing is that I picked up this album on Discogs at a somewhat inflated collector price.  I didn't pay an absurd amount for it, but I paid enough and was OK to do so as the album had been out of print for quite a while on vinyl.  Literally the day after I got my shipping notification I found out that the album was being rereleased as part of the Record Store Day Black Friday list.  I could have picked it for about twenty bucks less than I paid for my copy.  Bad timing I suppose, but I am still happy to finally have a copy of this on vinyl.

Edan - Beauty And The Beat:

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