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Edgar Allen Floe

Floe Almighty

(Shaman Work Recordings; US: 14 Mar 2006; UK: 11 Jul 2006)

Edgar Allen Floe has most of the elements to “make it” in the rap game: a slightly inflated ego, credible beatsmiths like 9th Wonder and Khrysis tossing him loops, and a knack for wordplay blended with a personable character. But in order to climb the lofty ranks of the hip-hop world, Floe still has some kinks to work out, as his mixtape release Floe Almighty simply offers a peek into all things Floe. Over the course of the album, which clocks in at just shy of 40 minutes, Floe rides the syrup-glazed backdrops with ease, connecting the tracks with a breezy soul thread. Unfortunately, Floe seems to be holding back, as his lyrical content is based on the safety net of pimping his status as an up-and-comer on almost all of the record’s tracks. On “Floe Free Style”, produced under his beatmaking alias Slicemysta, Floe raps over a crumpled jazz riff with the lines “My man Otis compares me to the Game / And I started to wonder / OK, I am a newcomer / I got legends cosigning me / And I got backstabbers out there denyin’ me.” Despite his limited content, Floe creates carefree hip-hop and delivers in variant ways, like on the rapid-fire “Hostility” and the previously released “The Torch”, managing to keep his music lively and palpable throughout. But while there is surely more to Floe than creamy beats and wordplay, a fuller release can only reveal if Floe can match his boasts as part of the next hip-hop generation.

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