After class at the coveted Sorbonne University in Paris, France, where French kids really don’t do that much work and professors are weirdly apathetic to it, fucking French, I found a record store in the basement of a streetwear boutique. I saw a little sign on the sidewalk that read, “Vinyl Dans Le Basement,” so I went. The little basement had beaucoup de hip-hop vinyl. Like one of the best collections of hip-hop vinyl if ever seen. Like obscure singles and collaborations that I didn’t know existed. Some old Mos Def shit from 2000, a 90s Guru and Pete Rock single, and Edan’s first single off his premier album. I asked the guy if I could listen to the records on the turn table that they had in the store, he said “Oui.” I peeped the Guru and Pete Rock thing. Dope shit. And then the Edan. Only 8 Euro, and real cool tracks, verses, grungy production. I had no turn table and no way of playing the record, but I felt that I had spent about 15 minutes flipping through the hip-hop collection and then 10 more listening to each record I was interested in on the turn table, and owed the dude something…. So I went and bought Edan And Company Bring You The Raw Shit. Now that I am finally back in the gilded streets of the U. S. of A. I am able to play this dusty vinyl.
The first track, Rapperfection, is ballsy, with a loose, sagging drum bap and Edan’s snake-like lyricism quipped and witty as ever. “My syntax is intact, to wax your megabytes.” As the verse spirals on the beat gets more and more lost in the chaotic reverb. It’s super grungy, wily, and hard-hitting.
I rock, rivet and block your proximity
Oral activity strains your brain cavity
Calamity comes, I leave academies numb
Battle me, crumb?
You’d rather become a fan of Edan’s
The second track on here is You $uck. The first line is unbelievable: “Laughter ceases after masterpieces slash a thesis/ Questioning my passion is like asking Jesus if the crucifixion hurt.” This beat’s a little more playful, but eerily so, with this shaky little riffed loop over and over and over again. Edan is projectile vomiting some of the most intricate internal rhyme I’ve ever seen, without any regard for conventional rhyme scheme, and it really really works. Line by line with his words trailing off it’s like this verse is all just one woven punch line that never ends. He gets real goofy in here, MC Paul Barman-esq. This thing then just bumps aggression for a hook, reminding every other MC that “You $uck!”
Pattern your alliteration after mine? mastermind my pattern writing,
localize the folks who try to socialise for ladder-climbing
Edan’s second verse is some crazy syllabic, poetry meter shit, like every other word punched with emphasis, it’s gotta have some technical name. Marianne Moore would love the fuck out this. He’s doing that line-by-line recording thing so it sounds like he has an inhumane lung capacity like El-P always does. Imagine me listening to this for the first time in a basement record store on Boulevard St. Michel in Paris.
The third and final track is Syllable Practice. This is like some agile, show-off, Blackalicious rappy shit. He is just going off here with his syllabic skills like I was saying before.
Expel tears and sweat to build pyramids
Irrigate, irritated orators excel
Extend ornaments to torment your tournament
Edan will outwit and out rap any linguistic twisting lyricism that you put him up against. The rhymes in here are amazing, meaning maze like, weaving, but always progressing, like in the computer game snake when you can’t touch your tail or the walls and you just keep getting longer and longer. Edan would have won that snake game with this track.
The only person who raps shit this cool is probably Earl, and he’s relatively super famous for it, and Edan is old and not. But that’s not worth getting into now.
Listen to these tracks guys! And support Edan, even though there’s not really any way to actively support him that I can think of other than buying his old, gritty vinyl records in basements in Paris, France.