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.
The last couple of years have seen a declining number of “classic” hip-hop albums. One could make an argument for Madvillainy or I Phantom but really, when was the last time an artist made a record like Wanted: Dead or Alive, Long Live The Kane or By All Means Necessary? By constantly broadening its scope, hip-hop seems to forsaken its beginnings – rhyming over turntables. The lexicon’s golden age (the late ’80s) was all about hard (repetitive) beats, an initial evolution away from juvenile rhyme schemes and only casual brushes with experimentation.