U.N.I.T.Y.

Rap legend Edo G. heads a huge bill; Faint DJs
By DAVID DAY  |  May 22, 2007

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Edo. G

This Wednesday, May 30, a hip-hop bill comes to the Paradise Lounge that boggles the mind. Eleven acts, from MR. LIF to BIG SHUG, will take the stage in a show of unity. The Unity Fest is so big, in fact, that there could be only one person behind it: Boston’s EDO. G, the man often called the godfather of Boston hip-hop following the #1 success of his 1991 single “I Got To Have It” and the follow-up album, Roxbury 02119. “What I wanted to try and do with this event is bridge the gap between the backpackers, the more gangsta rappers, the in-between rappers, and anyone who is doing something in Boston, new and old, on one stage,” he explains over the phone. “And we can do it with peace, with no violence.”

After the violence that surrounded Boston hip-hop last year, Edo. G got together with DQUEST, TWICE THOU, and WYATT JACKSON and started 4Peace. Their song “Start Peace” brought them all the way to the mayor’s office. Now, Edo. is bringing the community back together in the wake of the 18-plus dance-night ban. “A lot of these venues don’t really want to host hip-hop. So I got to give a big shout-out to Live Nation and the Lyons Group. They were open to it and helped to facilitate it.”

Edo. himself will perform with both 4Peace and Special Teamz, his new group with JAYSAUN and Southie rapper SLAINE. “That’s what I wanted people to think: ‘How in the hell are all of these guys going to be there?’ There’s got to be everyone’s favorite rapper in Boston performing. Like everyone.” He might just be right: in addition to those already mentioned, TRIPLE THREAT, 7L & ESOTERIC, FRANKIE WAINWRIGHT, JAKE THE SNAKE, AKROBATIK, TERMANOLOGY, and DRE ROBINSON are on the bill. D-TENSION hosts; DJ JAYCEEOH has to DJ. “Yeah, JayCeeOh’s going to be working pretty hard,” Edo. laughs. “But that’s a DJ’s job, he’s gotta work.”

Not only did Edo. G. put Boston hip-hop on the map, he pioneered our region’s raw-intelligent style. “Yeah, there’s not a bunch of blah-blah-blah-blah,” he says, mimicking current hip-hop trends. Then he laughs. “Maybe it’s ’cause we got all these damn colleges out here, you know? All these institutions, we can’t come dumb, you know what I mean?” With 4Peace, Edo. has performed for Mayor Menino and governor-elect Deval Patrick. “We’ve been doing shows in places I couldn’t imagine hip-hop could be, but this kind of hip-hop breaks all barriers — from elderly grandmothers liking what we are doing to the smallest kids.” And Patrick’s election? “It’s a big accomplishment — he’s the second black governor in the history of the country. But also it’s here in the state that was known for not being too equal . . . except for early on in the 1800s when they were helping people out! I’m excited. It’s just like that with hip-hop. Hip-hop brings people together. I wouldn’t know Slaine, I wouldn’t know everybody who’s going to be on this show, if it wasn’t for hip-hop.”

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