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Edan - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

On The Cutting Edge

April 2005

Edan is on some next level shit. As a student of music, he combines Hip Hop with psychedelic Rock, and Jazz, and mixes it into one big pot of gumbo he call's his very own style. His newest album Beauty And The Beat displays this perfectly. The album has been critically acclaimed and hailed by fans as one of the years finest works, and rightfully so. You will be hard pressed for find a more original album, as it pushes the boundaries of what Hip Hop music can sound like. MVRemix presents to you, Edan

MVRemix: Lets start off with some background history. Where were you born and raised?

Edan: I was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland.

MVRemix: What was it like growing up there over the years?

Edan: It was a bit tranquil. There wasn't a lot of shit going on directly around me. Most of my learning experiences came in public school, through your interactions with human beings. But it was just on some in between a town and suburb type of shit. So you could really get in your own zone and imagination, because there really wasn't much distractions.

MVRemix: What were you like when you were younger?

Edan: You know, typical kid shit. Run around and playing with your G.I. Joe's in the backyard. Loose the arm, cry about it. (Laughter) Riding bikes, eating bad food, shit like that.

MVRemix: What is your first memory of Hip Hop?

Edan: Hearing Run DMC's "You Be Illin". Damn, where was I? My parents sent me off to some bullshit camp in like '86. So kids were playing Raising Hell and all of that shit. So I remember hearing "You Be Illin" and memorizing the lyrics. Hearing that song was bugged out.

MVRemix: What was that one album you always listened to growing up?

Edan: I listened to Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual and the first Beatles album, Please Please Me.

MVRemix: How did you get into rhyming?

Edan: There were these cats in my high school who went by the name of The Moyle's. This one cat, his name was Shannon, and he would walk around the halls rhymin'. He would cut class, walk around rhyming and saying crazy shit. It definitely amazed me, what he was doing. And this was around '92 or '93, so I had already been into Hip Hop, but I never thought about rhyming or doing anything with it. Cause when I heard NWA in '88, the vulgarity was so exciting. And from then on I was curious about Hip Hop. But ironically I really don't care for that type of shit these days, but I still acknowledge it as quality music. But anyway, about '93, all of that Black Sheep, Low End Theory, Enter Da Stage type of shit was the background for my high school days. And seeing these kids rhyming, these two kids Shannon and Eric Ferguson, who I would later hook up with. My man Shannon got out of rhyming, as amazing as he was, he just stopped doing it. But I ended up rocking with that cat Eric, and I started to get more involved in rhyming. First I did beats, and I don't think I envisioned myself as an emcee because I didn't look like any of the emcees I was seeing on Yo MTV Raps. But after the beats, I started rhyming, then I bought decks off of someone I knew, and that was when I started doing the whole nine yards.

MVRemix: How did you get into producing then?

Edan: I had a four track and I was making stupid music with that. I would play a guitar, and make stupid prank calls on top of it. Just doing whatever. But I think the first thing I ever did was, there is this drum beat on the first Ice T album. I don't even remember what the song is, I think it was a bonus beat or some shit. But I just played a bassline on top of it, and that was around '92. Beats are my most instinctive avenue though. I really don't have to think about it that hard, its just natural. Maybe that has changed lately, because the past 10 years its all been pretty natural. But I still struggle to improve.

MVRemix: When did you realize that Hip Hop is something you wanted to do as a career?

Edan: About '93.

MVRemix: How did you start to make a name for yourself locally?

Edan: I just started playing cats my beats, and they were looking at me like "This white boy doesn't have any beats". (Laughter) But I would play them my shit and the next thing you know, they wanted to get down with me. So it was funny. I even remember playing in a go go band for a brief stint in high school, because our shit was right next to Washington D.C.. And I remember cats playing a go go beat, and I would play a Deep Cover bassline or some shit, and cats would just love it. We were playing in the high school cafeteria and all that stuff. (Laughter).

MVRemix: How did you get your foot in the so called "underground" scene and be heard on a broader scale?

Edan: Here is the thing, there wasn't too many outlets for Hip Hop in Maryland. So I went to Berkeley music school in Boston. I had been playing guitar for quite some time, and I went to music school to learn bass guitar. Eventually I got there, and I already knew my love was with Hip Hop. And I knew I was only using that whole base at school to get in the industry. I wasn't intent on becoming some virtuosic bass player. So I started to study engineering. But as time went on, I wasn't trying to become an engineer or producer of whatever hot act record labels wanted to push. Because that was what the school really cultivated you for. Meanwhile, I was making beats in my dorm room, and that was where my head was at. And in '99 I went to this record shop called Biscuit Head Records. I used to go their to get new wax. And I gave the cat who ran that spot my CD, which was just a bullshit album I put together at the time called Architecture. And within 10 minutes, before I even left the shop, he told me to come back. And I knew this cat was trying to start a label. So within those 10 minutes of listening to my album he decided he wanted to put some shit out, like a single. So that really helped establish myself in the underground scene. Plus, I was already putting out mixtapes. I did a DJ battle or two as well. I even did a couple of emcee battles, even though I came to realize that battles were not my shit, because they all ended up as a bunch of mother jokes. I didn't feel like cats were focusing on skills, it was just snapping on motherfuckers. Which is fun, but it wasn't my focus at the time. I did battles at Howard University when I returned home to Maryland, and stuff like that. But the recorded music really helped get me going, especially my single "Singing Shit Faced". From there, my single did ok and these other cats helped me put out another single. And by that time, I already had another album done. I then sent that album out to this cat Mike Lewis in England on behalf of Mr. Complex's recommendation. So he told me that Mike Lewis would want to fuck with my music, and he was right, Mike felt it. He actually started his own label just so he could put out my album, because he liked it that much. So from there I have had the opportunity to tour, and now I am just getting in the zone of maximizing my efficiency. I want to continually tour and put out music, and make sure the business end is being handled correctly. I want to make a living doing this.

>> continued...

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"...were looking at me like "This white boy doesn't have any beats". (Laughter) But I would play them my shit and the next thing you know, they wanted to get down with me. So it was funny. I even remember playing in a go go band for a brief stint in high school..."