First and foremost, introduce yourself to the masses...
I go by the name Edgar Allen Floe. Most people that know of me have heard of my crew, The Justus League.
Where is Edgar Allen Floe from...
North Carolina, all day!
Honestly, the first time I heard you was on "The Righteous Way to Go" back in I think. I was mesmerized by your vocal command and lyrical ability. The beat from 9th Wonder is a keeper. Can you talk about your ties with your North Carolina comrades?
I appreciate that man. Yeah the crew all started to link up in the late 90s. We all just started recording together while in college, and decided to form a collective and build a following from the ground up. Some of the Justus League artists, like 9th Wonder, Cesar Comanche, and Median, I had known a couple of years before we started doing music together. But we all got together because we all had similar tastes in music, particularly, underground hip hop music at the time.
In 2008, you released your debut album with The Streetwise LP. What was the overall goal for The Streetwise LP?
I have been releasing solo projects since 2005. My first project was called True Links, and was an EP to get listeners acquainted with my sound. I then continued to drop releases every year after that, and finally dropped my official album The Streetwise LP.
The album was more for the Justus League fans than anything else. When I had first started releasing music, I didn't know for sure if I wanted to release a solo album. I had my own crew, called The Undefined, in addition to doing solo work. The goal was really to continue to be active with my crew, along with the solo stuff. But as time went on and JL got more popular, people wanted to hear more of what I had to offer.
So that's when The Streetwise LP was released. I just wanted people to get in tune with my style, my subject matter, and my overall approach with my music. I tend to focus on reality...my reality. I rap about subjects that matter to me, and I know that matter to other people...like staying true with yourself, not changing for anybody, addressing society's ills, what we need to be more mindful of as black people and as human beings...REAL stuff. I think the album touched on the right topics to solidify me as an artist with something to say.
Were you happy with the results?
Overall, yeah I was happy with the results. Like any artist, you always want to do more with a project like give it more promotion, more shows, more of a presence. But people that took the time to listen loved it, so I'm good. One of the tracks on the album called "What It Is" features my fam Median and was produced by 9th. That song has over 35,000 listens on YouTube. I think that's great, because most underground songs don't get listened to on YouTube like that...especially with no music video. So it's results like that, along with people's comments, that lets me know people are feeling what I do.
Let's fast forward to 2012, just recently you released Floetry in Motion. Describe some of the issues that artists have to deal with in regards to creating an album.
Generally, you have your normal process that goes on with putting together an album...picking the right beats and features...making sure the album has a "flow"...making sure the artwork and mastering is done right...That's all normal stuff.
But in TODAY'S game, everything is different as far as the whole approach of creating hip hop music! Awwww man! Anyone that knows me or has connected with me online knows that I like to break down a lot of issues when it comes to the music game. And one thing I'm learning over the last 3 and a half years, is that our music is becoming cheap and devalued.
So the major struggle I'm seeing now is the notion of creating an "album" is losing steam. Everybody wants to release music, no matter the quality, as quickly as they can nowadays. Underground Hip Hop used to be where the "heavy" music was located...where some of the illest songs held a lot of weight with people. But it's tough now man...Very few artists are really caring about making a dope "album". It's like an assembly line...Artists just drop the same ol' material in mass quantities, just to keep an imaginary buzz going online. It's getting sad because I don't think no other genre of music does anything similar...just throwing out tons of material with not much value given from the artist.
Therefore, the fans don't give the music much value either. That's really the major problem I have with a lot of artists. I'm a fan of our artform, and I want to hear great material from everyone...from vets to newcomers. But it's sad to see some rappers get desperate just to try to get on a blog. They'll do almost anything for that 15 milliseconds of so called fame.
Was the recording process of your debut album The Streetwise LP different from Floetry in Motion?
Oh yeah, the recording process was like a complete 180. With The Streetwise LP, I was pretty much in complete control over everything. From the recording to the mixing and mastering...it was all me.
But with Floetry In Motion, this was a project I had worked on exclusively with an up and coming producer out of Virginia. We linked up around the time I was wrapping up Streetwise, and began working on tracks together. We had basically did all of the mixing together, and we did a lot of experimenting with different ideas and so on.
This was something that both of us hadn't done much of in the past, so it was definitely a great learning experience. I'm always open to working with artists and producers that enjoy making great music, so with J Wheels, we ended up creating a heavy body of work. I love the concepts, the beat selection, the features...everything. Floetry In Motion is my most complete and organic project to date.
Who is featured on the project and who handles the production on Floetry in Motion?
Floetry In Motion features Nottz, Termanology, Royce da 5'9, LaToiya Williams, and many others. J Wheels did all of the production, and he has done previous work with artists like Jean Grae and Canibus. The flow of the album just works well. Something that you can listen to from beginning to end with different moods throughout the project.
Where can the masses purchase Floetry in Motion?
The album is available digitally on iTunes, Amazon, or my Bandcamp. The physical copies will be available late Summer/early Fall of this year.
When Edgar Allen Floe is not rhyming he is?
Being a dad! lol. I have a daughter who will be 5 years old in September. So outside of music, it's all family with me.
How can the masses get in contact with you?
People can hit me up on my Website. I started the site earlier this year and it has a LOT of heavy information on there. From topics on Health, Wealth, Knowledge of Self, the Music Biz, in addition to my music. So anyone can hit me up there, or my Facebook and Twitter.
Any final shout outs?
Thanks for the opportunity for the interview! I appreciate you reaching out. And thanks to all of my supporters over the years who are still checking for me. There's still a lot of material on the way, but I hope this Floetry In Motion album is something people will listen to for years to come.
What are your five favorite hip hop songs of all-time?
Oh wow! They can change all the time and it all depends on how I'm feeling right this second. So for right now, I'll go with:
Rakim - "I Know You Got Soul"
BDP/KRS-ONE - "The Bridge Is Over"
Ice Cube - "Nigga Ya Love To Hate"
Geto Boys - "My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me"
Afrika Bambaataa/Soul Sonic Force - "Looking For The Perfect Beat"