Edo.G :: Wishful Thinking :: Overlooked Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Edward Anderson is still virtually unknown to 95% of today's hip-hop audience. Direct Effect? 106th & Park? No chance. An old school episode of "Rap City" or a "Hip-Hop History Week" on MTV will likely forget Edo.G's accomplishments. Yes, even this website hasn't shown him the love he richly deserves, which makes Overlooked Entertainment a wryly appropriate name for his current label. None have been smart enough to keep him around. He started out at PolyGram/Mercury under the header Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs. Two albums were released - "Life of a Kid in the Ghetto" in 1991 and the follow-up album "Roxbury 02119" in 1993. Despite achieving a small measure of fame in 1991 for the message song "Be a Father to Your Child," the label showed little interest in promoting the Boston rapper to a higher level. He surfaced in '97 on the underground rap hit "Off Balance" by Laster, and after a few years of cameos and 12" singles the renamed Edo released "The Truth Hurts" in 2001 on Ground Control. The buzz on the DJ Premier produced single "Sayin' Somethin'" was hot, but apparently the sales were not. So in 2003, after four albums and over a decade in the rap music industry, Ed is still looking for a little respect.

"Wishful Thinking" may be Edo's thoughts on how likely he is to get that respect, but he'd be wrong. The only thing this reviewer wished for after listening to the LP was that it clocked in at longer than thirty-two minutes and seventeen seconds. In that short timespan, Edo compressed a phenomenal amount of dope beats and rhymes into one album. Production and music are ably handled throughout by DJ Supreme One, with the exception of the equally dope "Rise & Shine" by DJ Revolution. The first song is quite rightly labelled "On Fire" due to the heat found in the lyrics penned for it:

"Everything I write is a masterpiece
You gettin raped by your label like catholic priests
On the whole it's only half the beast
Repeatin all my words like - Freaky Tah did after Cheeks
If you don't like me you don't have to speak
I'm killin niggaz, with one eye open and half asleep
You uninspired, in MA and tired
What you doin I did a year before the L.A. riots
Made the city unbiased, now it's shows and flyers
I claim home but play out of state like the New York Giants
Refuse to spread violence like tyrants
in third world countries, stay with trees like monkeys
Don't be fooled by the Boston accents
We talk with words and we talk with actions
Not New York, Dirty South, West Coast or Midwest
Cause Boston's where the kid rest"

Edo's dusty voice creates a naturally warm staticky feeling on tracks, creating the sound normally found sampling old funk records. His tenor falls somewhere between Rakim and Big Shug (a fellow Boston native from the GangStarr Foundation) while his diction and breath control show the preciseness that only ten plus years of rapping can provide. In other words, the only way Edo is going off beat is if he went there on purpose. Still teaching lessons to the youth and to his fellow rap veterans after all these years, "Be Thankful" is an honest appraisal of how fickle the music industry is from one who's seen it firsthand:

"If you spit fire, then God's a liar
The odds of dodgin fire just got higher
What cause can you inspire? Rap sheet's a prior
I keep it in the streets like tires
and don't admire your material desires
The media supply us, they biased
One minute they praise us, then they crucify us
Haters - they don't apply theyself
They ain't hot enough to do a record by theyself
They need help! See money don't make the man
You ain't gotta shake my hand, or take a stand
High day after day, drunk night after night
What you gon' do after mic?"

Nobody wants to be preached at all day though, and Edo knows that as well as any MC. That's why songs like the "Rock the Beat" remix featuring Jaysaun and Krumb Snatcha are provided, as a pure exercise of dropping rhymes and showcasing hip-hop skills:

"Yo, stop talkin bullshit like pastors in religion
No vision, I live and die by my decision
Confess to killin MC's, by my own admission
Ghetto niggaz pay a high price for a low cost of livin
Thug rappers been to jail, ain't never been to prison
If it's money or gettin bloody, then my hand
and my trigger finger itchin I'ma spit to this shit
You can't improvise when actin hard, stick to the script
Edo bang with the best, even corny-ass crews
with the same chain and piece, that hang from they chest"

On this album, even the "Interludes" are hot, showcasing Supreme's ability to craft masterpiece beats in the same way Premier used to give away nuggets of dopeness on GangStarr albums. Make no mistake though, Edo's the star of this show, even if sometimes he "Questions" what the point of life really is:

"On my way across the border
Fuck America's law and order
Nights are longer, days are shorter
Can't make a call for a quarter, gotta pay for water
You niggaz better stop bubblin
In these years of the Republicans
cause drug sentences is doublin
What I do, shouldn't concern you
When they burn you and turn they back, who y'all turn to?"

It's been a long struggle for Mr. Anderson, but like Neo in the Matrix he continues to battle the forces of evil around him in an ultimate struggle to win a victory for truth, justice, and the hip-hop way. As long as Edo.G is around for the fight, everything in the rap world will be alright.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

Originally posted: March 6, 2003
source: www.RapReviews.com