Edan

Beauty and the Beat

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Boston's Edan has scored the hip-hop triple crown, rapping, programming and sampling at a masters level on his second full-length. As an MC, he bows down while hyping himself up on the wink-nudge titled "Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme," giving extended shout-outs to the history of hip-hop, from Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash through to Ultramagnetic MC's and Prince Po, all over a break as dusty and faded as an episode of Carnivale. "Polite Meeting" offers a beat and sample collage on par with the current work of DJ Shadow and RJD2, and one is left to really ponder at the possibility of Edan trying to perform the beats and vocals live. Def Jux bright star Mr. Lif makes a guest appearance on the heavily psychedelic "Making Planets," which leads into a full-on Hendrix-inspired freaky-blues interlude. Percee P and Insight also drop by to flow over some of Edan's time and space warping musical beds (to call these "beats" would be an immense oversimplification) but Dagha guests on the grittiest rocker, "Rock'N'Roll" which manages a full-on Marshall stack set to ten, and a guitar assault that somehow avoids all of the failings of rap-rock. If hip-hop had existed in the days of the Filmore, Woodstock and the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Edan would have been right on the bus.

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