Edo. G & Insight Innovates deliver that raw, jazzy, and true-to-life hip-hop on their self-titled debut album. It’s the culmination of decades of friendship and collaboration, birthed from childhood memories and the early days of the Boston rap scene. And with this 10-track project, both artists sound as hungry and passionate as ever while they deliver one of the year’s best releases to date.
For Edo and Insight, that meant more than just “boom-bap” sounds or tight lyricism—it meant bringing everything to the table, including next-level lyricism. As Insight explains, “This project is focused on punchy drums, bass, attractive melodies, and a realistic life message and story from black men in a slowly changing world.”
You can hear that mission statement on instant highlights “Choose Your Path” and “It Takes Progress,” with the latter serving as the album’s first leak. With good reason, of course, because Insight and Edo admit that it’s one of their favorites from the record. In addition to featuring some of their best rhymes, it provided a way for them to not just sound off on societal issues but also offer some solutions.
But Edo G. & Insight Innovates also succeeds because of the way that simultaneously pays homage to and modernizes hip-hop’s past. There are cultural Easter eggs and outright tributes all over the album, like the absolutely banging “Set It Off (Long Live Kane),” which rightly gives flowers to hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane. The two also show love to Edo’s own history by reimagining his classic Da Bulldogs joint, “I Got To Have It,” on the standout track “Unite & Let’s All Get Down.”
As Insight says, it was part of their shared goal to “make a dope hip-hop album that reflects who we are and what we’re about.” He and Edo met that goal and then some with this release, which becomes available on Friday, May 28 through all major DSPs, as well as vinyl and CD via Brick Records.