Confidence Presents: GDot & Born featuring Edo. G
As far as rap mentors go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one than Edo G. And while the Boston-bred duo GDot & Born’s new LP still finds them emerging from his shadow (in the form of Edo’s nine solo tracks, half the album’s total, minus four interludes), their performance is proof that the old Bulldog can still sniff out emerging talent. The pair share Edo’s blue-collar approach; they rarely dazzle with wordplay or flows, but demonstrate skills and solid chemistry — with GDot’s robust, aggressive flow balancing well with Born’s smooth, slick style — that grows over the course of their portion of the album, even if the content remains mostly generic. That’s in large part thanks to Confidence, whose production throughout elevates the project to a higher standard. While obviously derivative of DJ Premier and Pete Rock (who gets his own dedication on “Living Legend”), Confidence’s masterful manipulation of piano loops, vocal samples, and boom-bap drums on “It’s Real,” “Manhunt” and “Makin’ Tracks” honorably carries on their tradition of jazzy and soulful sample-based beats. Working from that platform, GDot & Born (and Edo, sounding sharp as ever on “Grammers Strong”) present a highly enjoyable slice of pure hip-hop.
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