We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop and it’s important we recognize the greats. From the West Coast to the East Coast to Down South, endless rappers from all over the country have made a significant impact on the genre as a whole — and continue to do so in this day and age.
E.D.I. Mean, who is an original member of Tupac’s group The Outlawz, originally hails from from New York. He befriended Tupac’s cousin Kastro in high school, who later introduced him to the late great Tupac Shakur.
From there, the rest is history.
You may recognize E.D.I Mean’s name featured on a slew of records with Tupac, but the most notable would have to be “Hit ‘Em Up.” E.D.I. Mean actually reveals that they had made several records that day, with “Good Life” being his personal favorite.
Most recently, E.D.I. Mean has been working overtime on his own artistry, releasing two projects in one day: OG3: LA BELLA VITA and The Hope Dealer, Pt. 3. He always had the pleasure of being part of the Tupac docuseries titled Dear Mama, and even celebrated Tupac’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Pac’s immediate family.
AllHiphop spoke with E.D.I Mean in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his new projects, relationship with Tupac’s family, love for Hip-Hop, his new app Recordian, the Outlawz documentary, and more!
AllHipHop: How you feeling?
E.D.I Mean: I feel great, life is good. La Bella Vita, it’s the name of my new album.
AllHipHop: How is it dropping two albums in one day?
E.D.I Mean: Man, it’s a lot of hard work. Because you gotta do twice the promotion, twice the work. But it’s worth it. It’s something that I had inspiration to do, and I’m proud of myself for getting it done.
AllHipHop: Definitely want to talk about the Tupac star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Why’d it take so long, first of all?
E.D.I Mean: Aw man, your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know, but better late than never is one of my mottos in life. Better late than never. It was an incredible day. It was an incredible day for his fans. His family, his sister had a chance to get up there and represent for our brother. It was a lot of positive vibes man, great day all around.
AllHipHop: I really enjoyed the Dear Mama docuseries. You said you didn’t want to be part of it initially.
E.D.I Mean: At the time, I was just tired of doing interviews. Really tired of talking about the past. The past is one of my least favorite subjects to talk about. But when they broke down how they wanted to do it and the inspiration behind it, it swayed me a little bit to want to be involved. I’m happy I’m involved. It’s nominated for two Emmys and widely loved by the people, they really appreciate it.
AllHipHop: What was your favorite part? Aside from being in it…
E.D.I Mean: Man, just seeing some of Pac’s family up there talk about him, especially his aunt Glo. She’s one of the best storytellers ever. She killed it.
AllHipHop: Glo was actually at the premiere in Los Angeles. What’s your relationship with her?
E.D.I Mean: She’s always been like my second mother. Her and my mother had been friends for over 40 plus years, her and my dad were friends before I was even born. She’s always been a part of my life. She’s the reason why I know the Shakur’s, because of her friendship with my dad and my mother. She’s like my second mom, I love her to death.
AllHipHop: What do you want people to get from your music now?
E.D.I Mean: I want people to see the growth that can happen when you decide to live a positive life. When you come from tragedy, that there’s life after death. No pun intended, it is life after death. My music hopefully reflects that and inspires people to want to continue living, despite the b####### that life throws at you. Because you’re not going to get out of here without dealing with b#######.
AllHipHop: How much did Pac support you and encourage you to do the rap thing?
E.D.I Mean: Man, he was one of the first people to believe in my art and believe in my music. I sent him my music as a teenager. He immediately gravitated towards it. He immediately was encouraging. Not only that, he gave me an opportunity to have a career, so I’m always, always thankful and grateful for that. His generosity, truly was a very generous human being.
AllHipHop: Do you think you would have been rapping if it wasn’t for Pac?
E.D.I Mean: I was gonna do this regardless, because this is all I ever wanted to do. This is the only thing that made sense to me growing up. Coming from Brooklyn, New York, it’s the 50th year anniversary for Hip-Hop. I’m literally 49 years old, I grew up with Hip-Hop year for year. So I was gonna do this regardless.
AllHipHop: What was the moment you fell in love with Hip-Hop?
E.D.I Mean: S###, the moment I fell in love with Hip-Hop is when I went to my first parties in the park, in the streets. Because in New York at the time, Hip-Hop was very much in the streets before it was on the radio. I heard it in the streets before I heard it on the radio, that’s when that’s when I fell in love with it.
AllHipHop: Do you remember the first person you heard?
E.D.I Mean: I’m not really sure because at the time, it was just a DJ in a park rocking. It was the culture of it, it’s people out there with the DJ rocking. But the first MC that I was like yo, he’s dope. I want to be able to do what he does, Run-DMC.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from The Outlawz documentary?
E.D.I Mean: The Outlawz documentary will definitely give our story, how we came together. How we all were interconnected before we actually knew each other. Our perspective of the whole ride, that encompasses the life and times of Tupac Shakur. Our story is pretty f###### amazing, outside of his story as well. So you’ll get his story, then you’ll get all our stories man. Kadafi, Hussein Fatal, Napoleon, Kastro, E.D.I. Mean.
AllHipHop: Is it hard to track everyone down nowadays?
E.D.I Mean: Well the ones who are still living, we all keep in contact with each other. We’re all reachable. We can all reach each other whenever we want to.
AllHipHop: Talk about your app, Recordian. What is the premise?
E.D.I Mean: It’s a game changer. Again, I gotta reference 50 years of Hip-Hop because it’s timely. From everything Hip-Hop has given me, this is my gift back to Hip-Hop, with people that love Hip-Hop. But it’s not just specific for Hip-Hop, it’s a music streaming app. An artist will be able to upload his own profile, upload his own music. You will not need the middleman, and we’re going to give you a bigger piece of the pie. Go to recordianmusic.com.
AllHipHop: It’s already launched?
E.D.I Mean: The app itself will not be available until the end of August, but you can go to our website and you can get previews in the app. You’ll see what it looks like. You’ll see what we’re doing, what we got coming up. We’ll keep you up to date with everything we got coming up. Follow us: @recordianmusic on Twitter and Instagram.
AllHipHop: What was the process behind that?
E.D.I Mean: Well, it’s been a two year process. It started during the pandemic. A friend of mine by the name of FOS, he’s from Frisco. He’s out of the Bay where a lot of the great tech stuff comes from. He had this idea. He was talking about crypto and all this crypto s###. I’m like bruh, I’m not into that s###. I don’t even know what the f### that is. What s a crypto? What is an NF? T? Slowly but surely, because I was interested in the idea about the app, I began to do my own research and learn about crypto. What an NFt is, and why does she mean so much to the younger generation.
I went to a house full of crypto millionaires. All they was doing was getting to the money. They were all in his big ass mansion in the hills. The guy that introduced me to him was like “oh yeah, he’s worth $20 million. He’s worth $20 million. He just made $8 million last night.” I’m like, get the f### out of here. It definitely got my interest because I like large sums of money. [laughs]
Aside from that, the Recordian helps an artist with what’s going on in the music industry. Because I’m sure everybody heard Snoop talk about it: who’s coming up with these streaming numbers? Why do you have to stream so much just to make a couple of dollars? The Recordian is going to answer those questions. Not only answer the questions, solve the problem.
AllHipHop: Where do you view the current state of Hip-Hop? compared to back in the day…
E.D.I Mean: Everything changes, everything evolves. Music is evolving all the time. Hip-Hop evolves at a rapid rate. You always got some new trends, some new fad that people are going crazy over. It’s always been like that. Now with social media, cell phones, everything, these gatchets we got can go viral very quickly. But it can also fade very quickly. A lot of stuff that we was loving two or three years ago, you’d be like yo, where’s such and such at? Because the content doesn’t stick to your ribs like good music does.
I’m not here to point the finger at anybody. I’m just saying if you notice, s### is changing and it’s changing rapidly. Artists are not having as long careers as they did before, because the content y’all putting out ain’t really sticking. You make an artist like myself, I appreciate it. Because the more they can’t get what they want from y’all, they’re gonna go back and get it from who was giving it. That’s what’s happening now, slowly but surely. Generational artists, classic artists, careers are getting longer and longer, because the music ain’t up there.
You definitely got some guys who are doing great numbers, they getting real hot and they getting to the bag. But like I said, two or three years from now, you’re not really seeing a lot of these artists. It’s only a few that’ll last.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
E.D.I Mean: Man, be on the lookout for the Recordian. I got a best of both worlds type album coming out with Mars, called Greatness. We’re gonna drop that in the fall. It’s strictly for the ladies and the fellas that still like ladies.