While many hearts hurt in the Hip-Hop community when John Kerry’s presidential results came in short. But as names like Kerry may fade, Edo G has been holding down Boston for fifteen years – with a top single, a debut album barking at Gold status, and a string of classics ever since.
This year bodes particularly well for the raspy-voiced MC known for his serious tone and strong allegories. Edo and Pete Rock just released My Own Worst Enemy a dual effort from the two greats, also featuring Diamond, Masta Ace, and others. Though his name might be out of the spotlight, Edo G has never left the hardcore Hip-Hop, and his faith has not fallen. The Bulldog checks in at AllHipHop to talk about the Soul Brother, his catalog, and the Sox.
AllHipHop.com: Besides CL Smooth and INI, nobody has ever really gotten the Pete Rock collaboration album. Freddie Foxxx once mentioned it, but without huge publicity, you’ve finally got it.
Edo: Pete Rock, that’s my brother til’ the end. But working with a dude like him, he’s a genius in his own right. So it’s hard to really sit down and get that. That’s probably why it never happened with Foxxx and never happened with a lot of other people. It’s just patience.
AllHipHop.com: The cover art and the title is a nice parallel. But, why are you your own worst enemy?
Edo: Basically because, the only person that can stop me is myself. People can try to put road-blocks and you can go through different changes in life, but really – when it all boils down, if you have the drive and the motivation, and you believe in you, you’re the only the person that can really stop you.
AllHipHop.com: But at the same time, whose trying to stop you at this point?
Edo: It’s not like that. I’m not saying it in a negative way. I’m trying to say it more in a positive way, being that you have the power, yourself to do whatever you really want to do. If I don’t get anything accomplished, it’s because of me. I’m not playing the blame game.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve had one of those careers that really kicked in after a good bit of work put in. You’ve put out three acclaimed albums recently, after a long hiatus. What gave you the momentum to come back swinging so hard?
Edo: The market of the independent aspect of the business grew. It grew a lot in like in ’95, ’96, ’97. That’s when it started opening and people found that there was a big market for independent Hip-Hop. Once I found that vehicle, I just kind of ran with it. I don’t have to conform to anything. I can still do me, do Hip-Hop, do what I been doing. It’s not on a bigger scale than it was in ’91, obviously. But it’s still good enough to live off of.
AllHipHop.com: How hard was it to live in the in-between years without a record out?
Edo: It was pretty tough for a minute. Around ’95, I kind of took some time off after the Rocksbury 2019 and gathered up my thoughts and I didn’t really want to get back into the rat-race of trying to go get a deal. I was just kinda tired. I took some time to lay back, and then I came back with the six-song EP, that was just vinyl-only in ’96. Ever since then, it’s been on.
AllHipHop.com: You’re a super-star overseas. Has that developed since the second-half of your career?
Edo: Well, actually in the first half, I did London, Japan, Germany all off of the first two records. But the market for touring and all that, wasn’t really there back then. It was more spot-dates. But now, it’s just tour-crazy. You might never have heard of cats touring over there. We live on a big-ass planet, man. It’s bigger than just the states.
AllHipHop.com: Is there going to be touring for this record?
Edo: Yeah, definitely. I’m in the process. I’m trying to do something with Pete [Rock] and [Masta] Ace, tryin’ to do a tour together.
AllHipHop.com: Were you and Pete in session together for this record, or because of the geography, was it separate?
Edo: Nah, I did some of the vocals up in Boston. We did some together in New York. It was a two-year process of making this album. We basically were just going back and forth with beats. I must’ve heard two hundred beats from Pete over the time period to get seven that I liked. Not that he didn’t have other s**t that was dope! It was just, I’m a very particular type of person and I wanted a very particular type of sound.
AllHipHop.com: My favorite collaboration between you two is the single, “Boston.” That’s just classic Pete Rock!
Edo: Yeah, you know that beat was actually for Pharohe [Monch]. I don’t know how he turned it down [laughs].
AllHipHop.com: Having two established, veteran, legend type cats chipping away together, was your process altered at all?
Edo: [Not really]. We’re gonna be doing more stuff together in the future. I just wanted to do more a concept-album, not that this album has a single concept to it. Rather than go and get ten different producers and a couple of with names as guests, I wanted to bring it back to doing ten joints, and doing it with basically, one producer to do the majority of the work.
AllHipHop.com: Did you have that in the early days?
Edo: Actually, my first record was done by my man, Joe Mansfield who was the owner of Traffic Entertainment. He actually did, “I Gotta Have It.” He did all of Life of a Kid in the Ghetto with the exception of, “Difference.” That was the thing with everybody comin’ out in early 90’s.
AllHipHop.com: I always thought that Illmatic was the record that bucked the trend.
Edo: Yeah, it definitely brought powerhouse producers together.
AllHipHop.com: Life of a Kid in the Ghetto is a hard record to find these days. It’s out of print as a CD too. But it’s a classic album from all that I’ve heard. I know that record is on the fringe of going Gold, why did they pull it from shelves then?
Edo: I own a lot of my old stuff. I don’t own that particularly yet. Once we get some more bread, I’m gonna buy the rights to it and re-release it. We definitely want to have to have the collection under my belt. With my career, when I was on Mercury, they really didn’t have a clue until the record went to went to #1, then they pushed all the buttons. At that point, the world heard of Ed O.G. and Da Bulldogs. So…I don’t know. It’s just a whole buncha different crap that’s going on. You gotta live and learn.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve got this joint on the album with Masta Ace, “Wishing.” This is the dead-ringer. In there, you said, “BET is poisoning the youth.” What made you say that?
Edo: Because our teenagers are glued to BET and to the videos and to what’s going on. With all the programming that’s going on, I think they could do a little more to educate the youth and show a positive side of what’s going on, and not the rah-rah, negative all day.
AllHipHop.com: In general, or in Hip-Hop?
Edo: In Hip-Hop. Soon as Viacom has taken over, they’ve cut everything that was educational about BET. Tavis Smiley on down. Now you’ve got “BET Uncut.” That’s just the raunchiest stuff, I’m not with that. You got young kids watching that. We need to show more positive stuff on television for the youth.
AllHipHop.com: I know you’ve got kids yourself, how do you treat the “idiot box” with them?
Edo: It’s just a bunch of a junk. Television in general. I can’t just single out BET, but it’s for us, for Black people. But my man Insight [from Electric Company], he’s actually my DJ. He did the track. They actually credited it as DJ Supreme One.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of lyrics… your track, “Sayin’ Somethin’ changed my life. The way you opened that first verse up shaped me. What was it that set that verse off?
Edo: I actually had those lyrics before I got the Premo track. Those were lyrics I already had. Writing, it just comes. When I got the beat, it just fit so perfect. I write off of inspiration, what’s going on in the day.
AllHipHop.com: How’s the Red Sox sitting with you now?
Edo: Man, I am [sighs]. It’s time for Boston to blow all around, in all aspects. This is just the start. To reverse the curse is the start. Boston Hip-Hop will be a main-player in Rap. You’ve got a lot of cats in my team, L. Da Headtoucha, Dre Robinson, Jaysaun, Insight, Edan, Akrobatik. This year we’re gonna make a lot of noise in the mainstream, and as always, holding down the underground.
AllHipHop.com: I know Ace had that line in “Beautiful” saying, “Yanks three nuthin’, killin’ the Sox.”
Edo: Yupp, yupp. And it’s all changed!