My Own Worst Enemy is Edo G.’s (formerly Ed O.G.) new album released on Fat Beats Records. Although he has flown under the hip-hop radar for over a decade, he is, of course, no rookie. He has built his own reputation with his affiliation to the Gang Starr Foundation. But DJ Premier, one half of Gang Starr and mastermind behind the production of many classic hip-hop albums, is, not on board for this project. Instead, MC Pete Rock handles most of the production. As is the case of many albums with super-producers, Edo G. is not able to raise the quality of the rhymes to the quality of Pete Rock’s beats.
Nonetheless, the album starts very strongly with a track titled “Boston,” named after his hometown. Pete Rock lays down hard drums under a looped sample of the opening guitar from Bob Marley’s “Concrete Jungle.” Edo G. shines bright with his straightforward flow and cognizant lyrics: “Ay yo, my work ethic, disperse effort / From my first to my worst epic / There’s a madness to my method, it’s universal / My music is underground and commercial / Wholesome and controversial.” The album moves on to another Pete Rock jewel, “Voices,” where he supplies Edo G.’s words of wisdom with a backdrop of resonating choir voices, making these the best tracks on the album.
After these, however, the LP plateaus. Diamond D, who seems to be losing his touch, produces “Streets is Callin’,” a boring beat with the same keyboard notes, drum and bass droning over and over again. Other songs like “Pay the Price” and “Right Now!” are definitely a nice listen, but Edo G. is not able to make them stand out.
Masta Ace brings up the listener’s hope as his verse blesses the song “Wishing.” The bluesy rock guitar loop tugs at the heart while the drums make one’s head nod. It sets a great landscape for Masta Ace’s and Edo G.’s social commentary. Although a good track, “Wishing” does not really add anything new to hip-hop’s exposition of poverty and racism.
At 10 tracks, My Own Worst Enemy is short but not too sweet. Pete Rock laces Edo G. with some of the better beats that he’s made in a while, but Edo G. only delivers mediocrity. Although Edo G. clearly has skills and brings conscious rhymes, he just does not have the charisma of, say, a Freddie Foxxx, who has a similar flow and style, to carry this album.
Rating: 3 / 5 stars