Review Summary: Everybody pay a little more attention to Boston.
“The Humble Magnificent” is a great way to describe Edan. Like many underground MCs he is underrated to some extent, however his apathy for that makes me more eager to listen to his music, which I would listen to even if he were the most arrogant person on Earth. Blending psychedelic and classic rock from the 60s and 70s, blues and jazz music from around the same era, and hip-hop styles from the 80s and 90s (tossing in his own innovative lyricism) Edan is approaching rap music in a way I’ve yet to see duplicated. On “Primitive Plus” our man Edan is the mastermind; producing, rhyming, spitting, scratching…the whole nine yards. He writes hip-hop that caters to the live show, and if you ever see him you’ll witness the Humble Magnificent display his multiple talents.
Edan came up in Boston, and in Boston the hip-hop scene is relatively small. Thus an MC who doesn’t express any variation in his or her music won’t be as celebrated as the greats like Mr. Lif (featured on this album), Insight, Edan, Guru, Akrobatik, and if you’ll give me a little leeway with the location, Termanology (he’s from Lawrence). The variation I speak of is incredibly evident in Edan’s music; between the intro on “Primitive Plus” to the fifth track “Key Bored” you’ll notice Edan certainly pays proper homage to his favorite genres. Almost every beat on the album features a musical style that can be found elsewhere, and Edan manages to spice those styles up with hip-hop charisma and danceable sampling. He said this about how his musical research has influenced his own:
“It’s just like a kid cramming for a test, I’m just trying to be as well prepared as possible.” – Edan
His lyrics are sophisticated and intricate – there isn’t much of a steady theme to the album though, which is a drawback because I have no doubts that Edan is capable of developing one. The wording is heavily influenced by battle rapping, and spends a lot of time either describing the Humble Magnificent’s magnificence, or criticizing the lack thereof of other MCs. You may be thinking that you hear that everywhere
in hip-hop from the golden oldies to the candy-coated club raps of today. But in every song where biography is a strong theme, Edan manages to throw in some descriptive observations of the world around his person, so don’t fret, he isn’t too self-absorbed despite his immense talent. Edan specializes in Alliterative and Rhyming compounds; an example:
Well I'm a rhyme regulator, mic manipulator
Terradactyl, there and back to terminate ya
Super-duper classic for the dickhead gerbel
Kids roll red carpet when I flip fresh verbal
It’s a classic trick in hip-hop, to rhyme more than once in one bar – it helps your flow along nicely and it’s fun to listen to. Most of the time on this record Edan will keep a rhyme scheme such as that going for an entire verse and even two, sometimes for an entire song (check out the title track especially for that).
Edan is the definition of innovation, and I can only hope he’ll continue his merging of various styles for the benefit of both hip-hop and the other music incorporated. Edan writes happy, quirky, dance-floor rhymes that I would recommend to nearly anyone.
Now I'ma tell you off the bat what this jam is about
It's 'bout stealing people's *** and leaving them ass out
Whether stranger or relative, a friend or a foe,
I like jacking mother***ers when I need some dough