Edgar Allen Floe's Floetry in Motion | Record Review | Indy Week
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Edgar Allen Floe's Floetry in Motion 

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Since 1999, Justus League alumnus Edgar Allen Floe has carried his baritone through the area's stratified rap scenes relatively quietly. He's responsible for one of the League's most well-known early singles, the Curtis Mayfield-sampling 9th Wonder classic, "Righteous Way To Go." But he hasn't found himself caught up in crew drama or relying solely on the hip-hop rigmarole to survive.

Rather, Floe's strengths appear to be his stability and good sense, a formula he leaks on one of Floetry In Motion's pounders, "Where Did I Go Wrong": "Trials plus error equals perseverance you can measure," he surmises. Virginia producer J Wheels gets the bulk of the production credits here, providing Floe a needed separation from N.C.'s pervasive sample-snare formula. He adds a sentimental organ cloud beneath Floe's heartfelt ode to both his mother and his Aunt Debbie (who became his legal guardian at age 10) on "Two Moms."

If that sounds like the start of an after-school special, you're onto something: Between the "each one teach one" preaching of "The Realest Talk," Floe's chastising on "I Don't Know Why" and the anti-prison industrial complex barking of "Central Booking," Floe misses opportunities to show his competitive flame on wasted beats. Floe's pedantry only works when he mixes it with physicality. "He wanna be a leader, homie, I don't know him/ how can I follow when with ease, I can fold him," he says on the horn-fueled "Super Fly," successfully matching wits with Boston emcee Termanology. On "Mighty Floe Young," he keeps up with Nottz and Royce da 5'9", at least until his Five Percent Nation of the Gods and Earths slang makes its outdated appearance. And if you're tracking area hip-hop beefs and reconciliations, it's worth noting he reunites with Justus Leaguers Chaundon and L.E.G.A.C.Y. on "Jealous." Aww, cuddly.

In the end, Motion leaves one to wonder if Floe's primary calling is A&R executive, life coach, producer or rapper. He's adept at all four, obviously; done in tandem, as they are here, they all lose strength.

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