Artist: Edo. G featuring Pete RockTitle: My Own Worst EnemyRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Matt Barone
Uniting the microphone abilities of Boston veteran Edo. G with the board skills of Mount Vernon legend Pete Rock would have surely been a high-profile collaboration a decade ago. As an unfortunate sign of the times, however, My Own Worst Enemy is bubbling below the radar, intriguing Hip-Hop die-hards as to what this dynamic duo can create in 2004’s musical landscape. Thankfully, Edo. G’s joint project with Pete Rock is a welcomed audio journey back to when simple boom-bap and straightforward wordplay were the norms. Playing like an unearthed time capsule, My Own Worst Enemy shows that both men haven’t lost their respective touches.
Short and sweet, My Own Worst Enemy is a ten-track exercise in genuine Hip-Hop. With the Chocolate Boy Wonder contributing seven of the album’s instrumentals, the production side of things is expectedly top-notch. The album’s opener, “Boston,” creeps along with dusty guitar licks as Edo. G salutes his stomping grounds and reminds listeners who he is, with bars like, “I’m a throwback from the 90s, whose return is timely, for Hip-Hop consciousness that’s grimy.” Pete Rock offers up atmospheric vocal wails on the mellow “Voices,” while blessing Edo. G and guests Krumbsnatcha and Jaysaun with robotic bleeps and smooth percussion on “Stop Dat.”
When Pete Rock takes a step back from the boards, those who step in fill the void nicely. Edo. G displays a crisp flow over DJ Revolution’s hypnotic backdrop on “Revolution,” and Diamond D concocts a funky blend of organ riffs and glass-bottle sound effects on “Streets Is Watchin’.”
No matter who is controlling the soundtrack, though, the star of this show remains Edo. G. Never quite receiving the props he has deserved for past classics like “I Got To Have It” and “Love, Comes and Goes,” he clearly demonstrates his timeless capabilities throughout My Own Worst Enemy. On “School’em,” he kicks seasoned knowledge with, “I’m unswayed by the industry’s masquerade, school young n##### without the financial aid/ and my crusade is for every Black man to be paid, and be self-made.” The equally adept vet Masta Ace joins Edo. G on the introspective “Wishing,” but its Edo. G that shines brightest over Pete Rock’s somber soul sample with acute observations such as, “I wish my people would stop avoiding the truth, and BET stop poisoning youth/ we need changes for teenagers, as they go through phases/ more than just a concrete jungle, the world’s got green acres.”
My Own Worst Enemy is a definite hidden treasure amongst the fourth quarter’s flashier releases. Best appreciated by those nostalgic for the sounds of mid 1990’s rap music, younger listeners with open ears should also quickly take to Edo. G’s latest disc. Hopefully, it will inspire digging for his past catalog items, which are deserving of attention as well.