Artist: Edgar Allen FloeTitle: True LinksRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Starrene Rhett
The latest member of the Justus League to pick up the mic and ward off wack-lyrical-evil-doers everywhere is Edgar Allen Floe, with his True Links EP (MCEO). There are no R&B choruses and no repetitious chanting of oafish lyrics screamed over the beat ad nauseam. With minimal guest appearances, and production by 9thWonder, Illmind, Khrysis, Obsidian Blue, Picasso, DJ Forge, and Slicemysta, Floes alter ego, True Links is a dope listening experience. Encompassing a jazzy sound reminiscent of east coast Hip-Hop circa the early to mid 90s, the 9-track head-bopper forces the listener to pay attention not only to the beat, but to E.A. Floes keen storytelling and agile flow-pun intended.
The opening song, The Formula 2005, is a cautionary tale about what happens to lyrical contenders who imitate Floes formula. With a heavy emphasis on horns and tambourine-like drums, it sounds like its from a blaxploitation movie soundtrack; enter the movies hero walking down the street donned in his finest apparel, turning heads with theme music playing in the background. What exactly happens to verbal contenders? They get embarrassed and destroyed by Floes superior skills. The good news is, you wont be continually pressing the skip button, however, there are some tracks that stand out more than others. Back in Time is a laid back, funky ode to Floes childhood experience, growing up with Hip-Hop. Reminding 80s children of early LL Cool J, Kangols, and break dancing (or at least attempting to) at block parties, it takes on a somber tone as Floe describes why he feels that capitalism and greed have drastically changed the music that he loves, for the worse. In the end, he lifts the mood again by proclaiming his mission to save the music and culture. The Great Adventure featuring L.E.G.A.C.Y. and Median, affirms the Justus Leagues mission to make strategic moves that will lead them to musical success.Imagine urges dreamers to obtain their goals not only for the benefit of themselves but also for the benefit of generations to come. And lastly, Livelyhood takes you back to 93. Thanks to Floes lyrical guidance, the listener can vividly picture them self at a party with Floe on stage commanding the crowd, as they hypnotically oblige his requests to wave hands from side to side. In this song, Floe urges the listener to make no mistake about his superior crowd moving skills.
Edgar Allen Floe has enough promise to have as big an impact on Hip-Hop as the same influence legendary writer, Edgar Allen Poe had on literature. As the play on words in his moniker suggests, the man has skills and Tue Links is a worthy introduction to Floe 101.