Two things about Edgar Allen Floe: 1) he came up with one of the most clever rap names ever, and 2) he is an absolute beast on the mic. For those of you who aren't too familiar with Floe (and I know most of you probably are not), he is a member of The Justus League (along with Little Brother, Chaundon, Skyzoo, 9th Wonder, Khrysis, etc.) and possesses one of the most booming voices to ever grace a booth.
Floe Almighty: The Chronicles of Edgar Allen Floe is one of the several mixtapes Edgar Allen Floe released before his 2008 full-length debut, The Streetwise LP, and it is one of the more impressive mixtapes my ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing.
Featuring production from 9th Wonder, Khrysis, and even Edgar Allen Floe himself (his producer name is "Slicemysta"), Floe Almighty: The Chronicles of Edgar Allen Floe, is a fairly short yet overtly fulfilling mixtape which contains incredible lyricism from Floe who may very well be the most talented rapper of the entire Justus League collective (even moreso than Skyzoo).
Edgar Allen Floe instantly describes his rapping persona in a nutshell as soon as this track begins, rapping: "Yo, it's the truth, bustin' through your front door, you better keep your hands up if you want more." 9th Wonder lays down a solid beat that is absolutely perfect for a lead track.
2. Floe Freestyle
Floe takes his turn at producing here, and he is pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself, as "Floe Freestyle" contains one of the better beats on the mixtape. "Now I'ma fall back and not speak specific, but it's time to regulate, and critique the critics," spits Floe.
And my man Khrysis makes his first, but sadly, only, appearance on Floe Almighty: The Chronicles of Edgar Allen Floe here, dropping an incredible beat consisting of a continuous piano pattern throughout. To put the cherry on top, Edgar Allen Floe resolutely kills this: "You are the least skilled, the beast concealed your true nature, interrogate ya, make ya sit in a tight room, with one table one swinging light bulb." Seconds later, he raps: "I disconnect communication to your home, all alone, you wanna give me the truth now, about your shameful raggedy-ass mother-goose style." This is the best track on the mixtape.
4. Livelyhood (Remix)
This upbeat track was also produced by Floe, and it is a remix to a cut he made on his first EP, True Links, which was released in 2005. This version is even better than the original, as Floe once again flashes his surprisingly solid producing ability.
5. Floe Almighty
9th Wonder returns to produce this track, and return with a vengeance he does, as "Floe Almighty" is clearly one of the mixtape's best songs. "My thoughts are on fire, checkin' out the people liars, ignorance spreads, situation remains dire," spits Floe. I really, really dig the high-pitched vocal sample on the hook.
A dude by the name of "Son of Yorel" produced this track, which is probably the least stately on Floe Almighty: The Chronicles of Edgar Allen Floe. A rapper named Mal Demolish, who sounds somewhat like Chaundon, guest stars, and while he isn't bad at all, the poor beat makes this cut a skippable one.
7. The Torch
9th Wonder drops another banger here, and a lot of people who listen to Edgar Allen Floe consider this to be his best song. I beg to differ, as I am partial to "Craftmatic," but "The Torch" isn't too far behind. The hook is what makes this track so good, as Floe spits: "Fire up the next generation, fire up the next demonstration, fire up the hip-hop patrons." Essentially, this record is an ode to good hip-hop, and who could argue with those intentions?
Here's another Edgar Allen Floe-produced track, and if my ears are any judges, it sounds like he was listening to a crapload of DJ Premier before he made this. That said, I'm not too enamored with "Hostility."
9. One and One (Remix)
I have no idea where the original version of this song is, but apparently there is one, because this is a remix. Anyway, Floe does a great job on the production here, laying down some heavy hats and vinyl sound effects (I'm such a sucker for that) in the background. A dude named Diablo Archer, who sounds a bit like Phonte, assists Floe on this track, and I must say that he was pretty impressive on this. This is one of the mixtape's stronger records.
10. Changes (Mood Swing)
I love it when rappers come right out and tell you what's on their mind as soon as a track kicks off, and that's exactly what Floe does here: "You a hypocritical, despicable, individual." Floe is once again on the boards, too, and while the beat isn't fantastic, it's certainly listenable. Oh, and I can't forget this little nugget that Floe drops in the middle of this track: "Now you wanna cooperate with me? I want your mouth to operate like your kidneys." Seriously, this dude is ill.
11. Floe Shout Outs
There isn't much to this track other than Edgar Allen Floe giving shout-outs (duh) to some of his brethren, and that's unfortunate, because Floe produced a hell of a beat here, perhaps the best on the entire mixtape (although "Craftmatic" is right there, too). This gets heavy rotation on my iPod because of the beat alone.
12. The Righteous Way To Go (Remix)
The original version of "The Righteous Way To Go" was Edgar Allen Floe's breakthrough song back in '05, backed by an incredibly soulful beat by 9th Wonder. This time, 9th is on the boards again, but the beat, while awfully similar to the original, is not as captivating. This song is pretty solid, though.
On Floe Almighty: The Chronicles of Edgar Allen Floe, Edgar Allen Floe demonstrates that he is one of the most talented up-and-coming MCs in the game. Not only is he an outstanding, thought-provoking lyricist, but his voice is sick and his delivery is top-notch.
What really sets Floe apart from the rest of the field is his ability to also produce very solid beats. While I can envision an entire album produced by him becoming somewhat repetitive, small doses of his beats are extremely enjoyable and soothing. He produced half of the 12 tracks on this mixtape, and all but one of them ("Hostility") were satisfactory.
I would really like to see Edgar Allen Floe featured on some projects by Sean Price, Skyzoo, Chaundon, etc. He is far too talented to be confined to mixtapes and one solo album (which will be reviewed in the future).
TOP FIVE TRACKS
2. The Torch
3. Floe Freestyle
4. Floe Almighty
5. One and One (Remix)