Edan Portnoy or better known as MC Edan the Humble Magnificent has been on the Hip Hop scene for over ten years while holding strong. The first time I saw him was a ramshackle performance at the SUNY Purchase College Butler building. The night was a humid and wet ordeal where the powers that be decided to move the two days worth of performances into this half-hanger looking structure. Amidst the growing chaos, sweat, and scent of stale beer Edan hit the stage in a completely un-formulaic way of performing Hip Hop. He did it all, managing the mic while scratching with his other hand whipping out lyrics of fury. This Jewish MC’s skills combine an innovative rapping scheme while being steeped in the history of the old school. Edan has so much respect for the old school sound that he released mix tapes honoring the almighty Funky Drummer break beat to the art of fast rapping from the 1980’s. Being steeped in the underground scene Edan defies the generic label and even the generic job description of the modern MC. He delves into all aspects of the music while originating his own sounds amidst the sounds of the past, present and future. Humor is also punctuated through his dense verse to supply the listener with many moments of levity and farcical ruminations. Whether he rhymes about winning a third grade spelling bee, counting off various food products, or farting in a fish bowel he still sounds true to himself and the game. As a Jewish MC you can hear that faint influence throughout the music with his brash witticisms mixed with an unapologetic chutzpa. This performance of what some scholars call “Jewface” pushes the envelope by being both an original Hip Hop artist and Jewish performer. On his second LP he ended the album with the amazing journey through out the universe of his mind, titled “Promised Land.” He rides the beat with words spiraling through the listeners mind while using a sample of the song “Dark, Dark” by Israeli singer Arik Einstein. This is a perfect merger of the Jewish and Israeli culture that is, and has been, embraced by new Jewish music artists including the Hip Hop world. Edan will keep dropping marvelous tracks and we should all keep an eye on the pulse and an ear to the beats.
“I thought of freedom and jetted to the Promised Land”
- Edan the Humble Magnificent (steakboyandhammomatic.co.uk)
- EDAN mixes tracks from The Poets of Rhythm Anthology | Music News (soundcolourvibration.com)