For an entertainer living in one of the world’s most iconic cultural Meccas – New York City – E-dot is surprisingly forthcoming about his roots as a rapper from Edmonton, Alberta (just look at his myspace page). Growing up in Edmonton’s west side (the 182 st. district to be precise), E-dot could be found kickin’ it at West Edmonton Mall, eating Mr. Sub or working at Champs sports. But even before the mall was completed, E-dot was christening the site with his BMX and following in the footsteps of the first generation of ‘182’ heads Roger Amour and “the Godfather” Mark Giles.
Edmonton – like almost any other metropolis in Canada right now – is a microcosm of the nation’s rap scene in general. In retrospect, E-dot described a “Crabs in a bucket type scenario” where there was no camaraderie and where everybody competed against one another. Yet, the unfortunate “scenario” taught E-dot a great deal about working with groups (such as one of his first collaborations “World Famous” with Chris Groove). It was with moving away from home that made E-dot witness the mechanics of running a successful underground label and releasing the first records on Uncle Howie.
Still, E-dot’s music career has grown in leaps and bounds after leaving the fair City of Champions, in spite of his contention: “nobody has to move…it’s a global market.” Certainly that rings true with his contemporaries Cadence Weapon or Kreesha Turner, but moving to the birthplace of hip hop culture can’t hurt, especially since Canada’s music infrastructure is nowhere near the caliber of what exists in the U.S. today. Despite Canada’s dubious marketing outlets, E-dot states: “it’s not easier here. The whole industry team is elitist; it’s all about connections.” So if you can boil down the music industry into having connections, how did E-dot get his and where can I get mine?
E-dot’s connections began with a group he was with called The Chapter and Mr. Complex who took him on a European tour with a group “that happened to be” Non Phixion. While E-dot admits that he was unfamiliar with the group at first; that soon changed as he got to know Ill Bill as they did dates across Germany and Switzerland. This relationship grew into a musical collaboration with the song “Things Are Different Now,” which was never released on Ill Bill’s imprint Uncle Howie, but led to a number of E-dot’s subsequent 12”s.
Fast-forward to his current project Hero with fellow Edmontonian, Brooklynite and former high school rival Darp Malone. Originally meeting each other at a Jamaican association picnic as children, they grew up, put their differences behind them and realized that they made good music together. E-dot describes the Hero project as “grown folks’ music. 100% truthful, no fronting, not pretentious.” E-dot’s sound might be “more boom-bap oriented,” but Hero focuses their music “to people who came up in the golden era and want something to relate to.” While E-dot admits that popularity in the music business is largely steeped on chance, he unabashedly proclaims, “underground, boom-bap is not what Canada is looking for.”
Even though that sounds like typical rap bravado, E-dot might be on to something. Hero has garnered positive reviews from all sorts of credible music publications, including an almost perfect score by Urb Magazine. Thirsty Music – E-dot and Darp Malone’s label and media company – has already produced 6 videos from the project. Only 3 of them have been released officially and their single “Mogadishu” is in regular rotation on Much Vibe. With this kind of momentum, Hero is destined to be making some major moves in the times to come. Keep your ears and eyes open for Hero in the near and distant future.
Shouts? Last words?
Watch out for Thirsty Music, watch out for the new Hero album, the videos, support that shit. Touch – keep on keep on keeping on; Marlon, Chris Lee, A-Ok – peace out. Mark Giles – if you happened to see this you’re remembered; Daedelis – I know you’re seeing this; Stray – quit being grumpy; Dooplex – hit a verse on a song and put it out already; Billy – what up; Warparty – what up. Peeeeeeeeees – Courtney the mayor of the west end 182 represent! K.ris [E-dot’s nephew]… I’m forgetting a bunch of people… I’m gonna get cussed out… I’m out!
For more info on E-dot and Hero check out: