777 – Edhem (2020)

In the underground world of the Chengdu music scene, there is a crew of young musicians who has been running parties for long now and eventually melted into the warm landscape of venues like Funkytown or 13 Lounge. Coming straight from the sandy streets of Urumqi, Edhem is one of them, organizing and MCing at events ever since he landed in the capital of Sichuan. From Yiltiz to Inblood – with whom he released an album earlier this year – he participated in several group projects until he seriously stepped on the microphone to deliver his first solo EP : 777.

Crafted around the number 7 (7 tracks released on July 7th), this EP compiles some new songs and older ones a privileged audience already discovered during the recording of the second episode of Turn Off Tune In Drop Out. Edhem knows he’s been awaited and does acknowledge he’s been butterflying around in the past years but clarifies things in its introduction : “You did wait a long time / Now see me rising”.

Wielding Uighur language as well as Mandarin Chinese and English, the young rapper takes us to the thoughts of the unofficial youth, the one that stays up at night, cherish living one day at a time and struggles to make its way to the top. Through a very poetic writing, Edhem tackles his doubts and love stories (Africa Center), the need for money (Monica) and his will to succeed (All that) without forgetting to rep for his roots: Urumqi, Yiltiz, Inblood, all that. Wrapped in productions from the Xinjiang’s rising producer T3 and the Purple Soul’s craftsman Jinsfake, Edhem’s texts demonstrate a strong maturity that hopefully foreshadows a very bright future.

777 works as a reminder that the brightest and most honest of Chinese music is still to be looked for in the underground of night venues. At a time where the world of unsaid things, unfair decisions and under pressure lifestyles is a common nightmare to a lot of people, Edhem’s pointing a way out to the one who carefully listens :

Music can no longer change the world
But people can
How you’re gonna distribute your love
Will be the right thing.

Listen to the full album on Spotify.


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