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Edgar Allen Floe - conducted by Todd E. Jones  


Edgar Allen Floe Is Linking You To Hip-Hop

August 2005

MVRemix: Who are some artists you would like to work with in the future?

Edgar Allen Floe: I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I would love to work with any of the greats. Since people say I have a distinct voice, I would love to do a track with the GZA and Large Professor. They have a distinct voice as well, on the mic. I think that would be dope. There are many other emcees who I would like to collab with or produce for. Common, Sheek Louch, M.O.P., Cormega, or MC Eiht. There are so many to name.

MVRemix: Speaking of the power of the voice, Guru expresses the importance of an emcee’s voice on a hip-hop track on ‘Mostly Tha Voice’ by Gangstarr. In your opinion, how important is the voice for an emcee?

Edgar Allen Floe: I think the voice plays a part in how the emcee is received by listeners. You have to have style, charisma, and substance as well. Some of the greatest emcees did what they did, without really focusing on the current trends. Do people even realize that Rakim hardly ever used curse words?! That's something that I really check out when it comes to emcees. What are you doing different than everybody else? Bring something new to the table and be able to withstand the critics. That's what I'm trying to do with my emceeing.

MVRemix: Who are some producers you would you like to work with in the future?

Edgar Allen Floe: Pete Rock! Maybe that'll happen one day. The Rza, Large Professor, and Just Blaze.

MVRemix: You just came back from Little Brother’s video shoot. What was the song? What was the concept of the video?

Edgar Allen Floe: Yeah, I just got back from the video shoot. Man, I loved it! The whole day was just unbelievable! There will be a lot of cameos in the video. The concept is clever. I don't think I can say much about the video right now, but it'll be out very soon. I'm just really happy I was able to be there and be a part of it. It was definitely history in the making. T.JONES: "How has your life changed since Justus League’s fame grew (and continues to grow) to unimaginable heights?

Edgar Allen Floe: It feels good to have fans, from all over the world, appreciate your work. But everybody in the League still maintains their focus. We don't let any of the success go to our heads. I just found out I was in the newest issue of XXL, with The Game on the cover, in the Chairman's Choice section. I was really happy about that, when I found out. Even though so many things have happened within the last few years for us, it's still only the beginning. There's still a lot of work to be done and many more goals to reach. We have to keep things moving and keep working. That's what I'm trying to do.

MVRemix: What is the song 'Timelife' about?

Edgar Allen Floe: 'Timelife' is all about how I see some people live their lives. Whether it's because of their ignorance or their environment, a lot of people struggle to find themselves. They smile around people all the time, when deep inside, they're lost and have no direction. I would notice a lot of vultures out there that prey on people who are lost. Just like when someone breaks up with their boyfriend or girlfriend after being together for so long, that person is so vulnerable. Then, someone comes along and tries to take advantage of their vulnerability. So, 'Timelife' is all about letting you know to take advantage of your time on Earth and take advantage of your life on Earth. If you have goals or aspirations, do what you have to do to make them happen. Don't be afraid of failure or disappointment. You don't want to be someone who always asked themselves, ‘What if?’ You shouldn't live to die, simple as that.

MVRemix: What music have you been listening to lately?

Edgar Allen Floe: I try to stay current with the dope stuff. I've been bumping that new Sean Price ‘Monkey Barz’ album hard! MC Eiht and Spice 1 dropped an album a few months back called ‘Pioneers’, which I'm still playing. Cormega, Geto Boys, Common, and of course, my crew's material. I've been playing Rakim's ‘The Punisher’ like it just came out this year!

MVRemix: What was the biggest mistake you have made in your career?

Edgar Allen Floe: I would say the biggest mistake I've made is that I've been too cautious at times. I try to study this music game so much, that sometimes I forget to take chances and face the consequences. I've realized that as long as I don't sacrifice my artistic integrity, I'm good.

MVRemix: What are some misconceptions people have of you?

Edgar Allen Floe: Well, it's not really a misconception, but people say that I'm very quiet, which I am. But once you get to know me, you'll realize that I'm not as quiet. I'm a joker on the low. And sometimes, some people think they have to act a certain way around me just because of what I rap about or how I carry myself. I don't drink or smoke, but I'm not going to hate on you if you smoke or drink! Do you! All my peoples that I've grew up around do what they do, and they don't hate on me because I'm not smoking with them. It's just a respect level that we all have for each other. I'm still in the mix of things though, catching a contact high like a mutha! (Laughs). Live your life how you choose to live it, because that's what I'm doing! I choose to be a vegetarian! You don't have to come to me talking about, ‘Yeah, I don't eat a lot of meat, just chicken.’ Get the f*ck out of here with that sh*t! (Laughs).

MVRemix: Obviously, your name is a play on Edgar Allen Poe’s name. Are you a fan of Poe's work? What does the writer, Edgar Allen Poe mean to you?

Edgar Allen Floe: I just recognize his talent as a writer and a storyteller. Well, the name, to me, represents a person who isn't afraid to take chances and speak their mind. Regardless of what others may think, Poe delivered his stories in a way that only he could. Original, detailed, intriguing, thought-provoking. These are all characteristics I've found in his work that I keep in mind when I write.

MVRemix: What is your favorite work by Edgar Allen Poe?

Edgar Allen Floe: Just like most people, I've read some of his work in school. I am a fan of his work, but not a huge fan or anything. I don't really have a favorite Poe work. I used to read some of his works while in school. I have a book that has a lot of his more well known works in there. ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, ‘The Black Kat’, and ‘The Raven’ are the ones I remember the most. I don't really have a favorite piece of work. I like pretty much all that I've read.

MVRemix: Is there a deeper meaning to your name Edgar Allen Floe?

Edgar Allen Floe: Well mainly, I try to be a dope writer and storyteller from the hip-hop standpoint. There's not a deeper meaning or anything, but I used to have an acronym for the name back in 1997. I don't remember it entirely anymore though.

MVRemix: Where were you during the Sept 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it?

Edgar Allen Floe: I was in downtown Raleigh, in the middle of a banking training class. I was finished with the class about 10:30 am. As I came outside, I kept hearing some guy and lady keep talking about, ‘The hospitals are next.’ I had no idea what they were talking about until I went into one of the banks, where I saw everybody looking at the news when everything happened. But just like most people, I just kept watching TV all day, trying to understand what really was going on. That was a crazy time that affected the entire world.

MVRemix: When producing music, how do you approach a song compared to other producers?

Edgar Allen Floe: When I'm making a beat, I usually start with finding the sample for the main melody. Once I have that, I add a hi-hat just to figure out the tempo of the beat while I'm creating the melody. Once the melody is done, I finish up the rest of the drums. I take a considerable amount of time on the drums, when it could take me 30 minutes to an hour for the right snare that matches the hi hat, then, a kick that matches the snare.

MVRemix: Do you have a favorite drum machine or sampler?

Edgar Allen Floe: You might not believe this, but I've had a Boss DR-550 drum machine since 1996. In '97, I accidentally stepped on the screen of the drum machine when I woke up one morning and crushed it. You can only see maybe 1/4th of the screen. Basically, I still use the drum machine for sequencing, but I don't have the screen to navigate through the drum machine settings. I had to remember where everything was on the drum machine. How to change the tempo, metronome, and the number of bars for the beat. Everything. As far as a favorite sampler, I must have an SP-1200. Period! I need it in my life! (Laughs). But for real, as of right now I have an AKAI S-2800 sampler. I plan to get an SP-1200 really soon. I've studied the greats that have used the SP. Pete Rock, Diamond D, Beatminerz, Primo, et cetera. I want to have a go at making next level beats on the SP. Nowadays, it seems like the technology diminished the creativity factor for producers. Considering what machines can do nowadays, we should be hearing some crazy next level shit regularly. But there are producers nowadays who can't make a beat that compares to ‘T.R.O.Y.’, which Pete Rock made 13 years ago on an SP-1200! That lets you know the creativity level was so high back then. I want to be a part of bringing that back.

MVRemix: How have you evolved as a producer?

Edgar Allen Floe: As a producer, I really haven't gotten a lot of my ideas into my beats yet. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. I'm trying to devote more time to getting them ideas out. It's time for producers to take initiative, try to things, create new styles, create your own samples, and learn how to arrange. Be a musician!

MVRemix: What is your favorite part of your live show?

Edgar Allen Floe: I love when I say a line and I can see someone in the crowd react to it. It feels good to see people actually react because on stage live, you can be focusing on the entertainment factor. You don't really have to be focused on the lyrics. But for someone to be enjoying the show and recognizing the lyrics, I love that.

MVRemix: How have you evolved as an emcee?

Edgar Allen Floe: As an emcee, I like to see some kind of evolution on an annual basis. If I can go back to my old stuff a year ago and tell myself that I've gotten better, then that's a good thing. I want to always be able to say, ‘This is my best work’, every single year.

>>> continued...




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"As a producer, I really haven't gotten a lot of my ideas into my beats yet. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. I'm trying to devote more time to getting them ideas out. It's time for producers to take initiative."