e-dubble’s mixtape, Written Thursday, is finally here (mixed by DLake of Claire Hux, and without the outros that you might be used to if you’ve listened to his music in the past).

If you’re in a hurry, here are the essentials: Grab it here: e-dubble – Written Thursday, and share a link to this post on Facebook including the text “@e-dubble”, or Tweet it using “@EdubHipHop” to be entered to win a $25 iTunes card. Here’s a couple tracks so you can get a sample…

e-dubble – Tired by edubble

e-dubble – Sidelines by edubble

Hit the jump to read my thoughts (I ended up having a lot of thoughts), and to see the back cover/tracklisting…

I’ve been a fan of e-dubble for a while now, and it’s all been leading up to this. The thing is, when it came time to write this post, I was pretty much out of things to say. I’ve been posting his music for months and, to be honest, I’ve said so many positive things about him that I’m running out of words to use or clever descriptions to insert. He’s a monster on production, he’s brutally honest, his delivery is engaging, he’s got a great ear for music, and he knows how to work with a good melody. What else do you need to know? Part of blogging, for me, is trying to keep things interesting, and I wasn’t sure how to do that.

Then, the other night, I was talking to e-dub’s manager and the conversation got into the “image” that e-dub is going for. Here’s what he had to say:

The main reason we don’t have any good photos of e-dubble right now is because we can’t decide on a concrete angle to brand him. We want it to be the “next big thing” but we dont want it to be a gimmick. So we have put it off/made excuses and it has slowly started to reveal itself on its own.  What I’m trying to say is, its about the music and the fans. I know it sounds corny and artists always say it but I rarely believe them. Edub does what he wants with his music, not because hes trying to make a point, but because it’s what he needs to stay sane. He’s a normal guy with normal problems and this is his outlet.  He’s been doing it for years but now it’s in the public eyes and his fans almost seem to get it more then “we” do which is amazing to me and him.

Right after he said this, I knew immediately that this was my post.

This was a candid conversation, and he had no idea that I was going to quote him on that, but it was the most refreshing thing I’ve heard in a while. I don’t know what the general consensus is on “image” in music, but, like it or not, it is extremely important in today’s market. The problem is, a lot artists start their career off with an image they want to go for and the music follows. They’ve been making music for years, then they start getting some exposure and all of a sudden their style, content, and sound morphs into an easily categorized, instantly accessible image. We’ve all seen it happen, and it’s sad when musicians start making music to fall in line with their image instead of just expressing whatever it is they feel. I’m not going to put anyone on blast, but you know it when you see it happening.

Just listen to e-dubble’s music and you know right away that he’s not trying to be anything that he’s not. e-dubble’s “image” is based on who he really is. You can see it in his lyrics, you can hear it in his voice. You can’t sum it up in a couple of keywords, but you’ll be able to feel it when you listen. To me, this is the appeal of e-dubble. “Keeping it real” is thrown around in hip-hop more carelessly than the rock in a drunk game of basketball – so much so that the phrase has lost all meaning. Here’s a reminder.

Oh man, I just rambled worse than e-dubble on an outro.

DOWNLOAD: e-dubble – Written Thursday (Mixtape)

DOWNLOAD: e-dubble – Written Thursday (Mixtape)