By: Joseph Cunningham
Photo by: Carlington Wilmot
Not many artistes out of Jamaica can claim having been on the Billboard Top 25 Hip-Hop R&B Sales chart. E-Dee has however, been doing just that as he is featured on Ms Triniti's newest smash "Bongce Along". The 25 year old artist out of Clarendon, Jamaica is experiencing a breakthrough in the US market since spending the last five weeks as a chart topper. Already in Japan he is ready for his second full-length CD release and has appeared on four compilation CDs out of Japan. With two videos in rotation on Hype, CVM and Irie-FM in Jamaica, and US radio picking up his single "R U Ready" and "Between the Sheets" E-Dee could soon step into the international mainstream.
Born Everton Dennis, E-Dee was the youngest of eight siblings. His musical career began in the church, where he sang in the choir. His mother was very religious and did not allow E-Dee to listen to music other than gospel because she considered dancehall/reggae to be profane. So E-Dee's early musical experience was steeped in gospel. Suddenly his mother passed without warning when he was 12 years old and a young E-Dee had to grow up quickly. Working hard to earn money for his school uniform and books, E-Dee learnt dedication and focus very early, having to take care of himself. Applied to his musical career, that diligence brought E-Dee to his dreams. After completing his secondary education he moved to America to pursue his music career and to study to become an Actor. While in the U.S. E-Dee's steady exposure to Hip-Hop and R&B began to influence his writing, infusing the American slang with Jamaican Patois E-Dee's sound began to evolve.
Ending up in Los Angeles, E-Dee began performing at showcases. Word soon got out about this 6'5" rapper from Jamaica that was building a following. It wasn't long before promoters began putting E-Dee on the bill of major festivals. With two CDs selling strong in the streets, E-Dee was soon sharing the stage with the biggest names in Dancehall/Reggae including Sizzla, Wayne Wonder, Ce'Cile, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Beres Hammond, Lady Saw and the list goes on. Not to be ruled out as only a dancehall/reggae favourite his cross-over appeal has landed him shows opening for Hip-Hop artists D-12 and Ja Rule and got him collaborations with Capitol recording artist Houston.
In 2004 platinum record producer Qmillion sought out E-Dee to collaborate with Junior P. and Ms Triniti on the song "Hot Again" which was one of E-Dee's four collaborations with Ms Triniti on her debut album Ragga Hop. Qmillion was so impressed with E-Dee's talent that he immediately signed him to Unseen Lab Recordings and began recording a full length CD with E-Dee. During the recording of the album E- Dee headed to New York to film a cameo appearance in the urban action film "The Party" starring RL from the R&B group Next, and Darryl Hammond from Saturday Night Live. This work led to him landing a lead role in the upcoming feature film "Overkill" co-starring Malik Yoba due for release in 2008. E-Dee is also featured on the soundtrack of the 2007 movie, "I Think I Love My Wife" starring Chris Rock. On this collaborative effort he is joined by Black Shakespere and Terence Yoshiaki, a founding member of the Black Eye Peas. While many dancehall CDs focus on the subject of women, E-Dee's 18 song album entitled, "JA 2 LA 2 DI WORLD" takes you along his life's journey, touching on many subjects from the struggles of surviving in Babylon, to jealousy and envy of haters in the industry, to party life in the clubs on the dancefloor, to love and relationships, to the last song on the CD dedicated to his mother, "Mamma".
The first release from the album is the double single "R U Ready" an up tempo club banger and "Between The Sheets" a lovers-rock reggae version of the Isley Brothers hit. The double single is gaining momentum around the U.S. topping regional charts in Connecticut, Los Angles, Miami and more. The music video for "R U Ready" shot in Compton, California, will be serviced to BET and other outlets this fall and features a cameo appearance by Amorossa from The Apprentice and The Surreal Life. The sound of E-Dee's album "JA 2 LA 2 DI WORLD" represents a new sound in dancehall/reggae, influenced by Hip-Hop and R&B that is appealing to a whole new market as well as dancehall's traditional fans. Energetic, exciting, emotional and raw this artist is poised to be the next Jamaican to capture the attention of music lovers around the world and take dancehall/reggae to the next level. 2007 brings the release of his second single "Revolution" featuring "Irie Love" an adaptation of the classic hit by Dennis Brown. The reworking of this song with additional lyrics by E-Dee hits the streets this spring and the early response in clubs is - pure shots.