[21 May 2007]
Demetric Brown, known in rap circles as E-Dro, presents an intriguing persona. He has a raspy drawl that reminds me of Texas-bred rapper Scarface. E-Dro, however, doesn’t hail from Texas or the Dirty South of the United States—his home is Washington, D.C. He’s at his best when he’s political (“What Happened” is the best example), yet he’s also content to resort to hip-hop clichés, like staying “on the grind” (a song title) while “smoking” (another song title) to escape the ills of “street life” (yet another song title). Maybe, it’s because he’s out “for the paper”.
He’s as serious in his personal convictions as he is silly about his sexual fantasies. One of the “silly” tunes, “LAPD”, doesn’t refer to California’s Los Angeles Police Department; rather, the title stands for “LAP DANCE”, like E-Dro was in the middle of a spelling bee and a blackout occurred after he said the letter “D” or he was spelling “l-a-p-d-a-n-c-e” in his alphabet soup and ran out of letters.
On a basic level, the interplay works to give us a rounded view of the rapper. Real people have personalities with various facets—political, serious, happy, silly, and so on. But the strength of his political side outclasses his other subjects. Granted, some of his politics might give you an idea of what Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 would’ve sounded like over a dope beat but, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the content, the rhymes fit the voice and the delivery. Politics works better artistically for E-dro than lyrics about selling coke or being a stud. Speaking of “dope beats”, the project was mixed by DJ L.E.S., who has produced tracks for Nas, LL Cool J, Joe, and Big Pun. From My Hood to Your Hood isn’t overwhelmingly great, as an “album”; but, as a mixtape, it’s not a bad way to spend an hour.