E-dub and Vince at work.

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As part of our Throwback Thursday series, us republish Marion Winik’s essay in memoriam of E-Dubble, the local rapper who died last February. His brand-new video was released this week. 

View the video, below.

Originally published March 1, 2017 – like Charlie Parker, he to be 34, stunner young. Countless are. Hank Williams to be 29, Otis Redding, 26, half the Rock and also Roll room of Fame, 27. Tupac, 25. Friend Holly, 22. Uneven a most them, his fatality had nothing to do with the lifestyle, his volatility, v burning bright and living hard.

Not that he no burn bright and also live hard. Oh, he did, the did. But prefer a huge in a fairy tale, he to be felled by the tiniest of foes. A microorganism. An infection. An underlying condition. And perhaps the paradoxical fragility that originates from being so lot bigger 보다 our mortal infrastructure was designed to support.

He was a paradox in numerous ways, even an oxymoron: a legend secret, a subterranean star, with his countless downloads and zillions of fans and gigatons of talent, zero name recognition and also exactly one appearance in the mainstream media. A profile created by a hopelessly unqualified journalist, in my single foray into music writing. If my inexperience showed, so did my awe. If many of E-dubble’s true believers were fifteen-year-old boys, at least one was a post-menopausal Deadhead.


When my boy Vince came back to Baltimore after graduating from music institution in new Orleans, he acquired a task up in ~ Guitar facility on Joppa Road. An entrepreneur in ~ heart, Vince never ever really take it to working because that the man, nor lasted that lengthy at any day job, despite the pizza place in glenn Rock the hired him illegally when he to be twelve was an exception.

One afternoon he to be hiding the end in the studio surreptitiously making to win on the demo MPC once a towering young guy in a Phillies round cap appeared in the doorway of the keep carrying a heap of expensive music gear. He had actually an virtually visible aura that intensity. Vince stepped the end onto the showroom floor.

Turned out his customer to be Evan Wallace, aka E-Dubble, a 6’10” rapper originally indigenous Philly, recently of Hampden, and also he had just released an album called Reset. On November 6, 2012, Reset had actually debuted at #8 on iTunes hip-hop list and also was a “heatseeker” top top the Billboard chart, and also E-dub was getting ready to tourism behind it. He decided he essential a brand-new microphone, so packed increase his old gear for trade-in and headed as much as the guitar Center.

Actually, though, he already had an ideal setup because that what he was doing, and rather 보다 take his money, Vince proved it come him. That ushered him into a listening room, hooked increase a demo comparing several other brands, and re-sold the on the services of what he already owned. Climate the two stayed in the room for the rest of the day, listening to every other’s beats.

Within a week, Vince to be fired from etc Center, and E-dub was rehearsing with Vince’s band.

That was four and a fifty percent years ago. Throughout that time, countless things happened. New songs, new albums, new collaborations and brand-new directions. Live shows with 27 lights at the 8×10 in federal Hill, everybody’s parents running tabs. Shoestring tours in a broken-down van. Bar fights. Lawsuits. Break-ups. New loves. Photoshoot, green room, showcase, music video. A communal house full of musicians in Pikesville. A rough patch. Back to Philly. Parents, sisters, tiny nieces and also nephews. A puppy to store his gold retriever Lewis company: Clark, the course.
edubhiphop. 50K on Twitter, 130K top top Facebook. Still no press.

Last month, Vince, currently in grad college in new York, saw visit E-dub in Philly. Vince played reggae body organ on a new rap. E-dub recorded remix vocals for one of Vince’s songs. Lock tracked a raucous cover of Johnny Cash’s big River. They functioned hard, castle drank beer, Evan’s girl friend came over and cooked dinner.

A few days later, Evan went to the hospital. For weeks, we might get tiny information, yet what over there was included phrases like “medically-induced coma” and also “life support.” We sent out flowers, but I nothing think he ever experienced them. Top top February 13th, we obtained word of his death.

No, I’m no a music writer, and it’s not simple for me come explain what i loved about these songs. Due to the fact that he wrestled so directly with identity and ambition, v what it meant to be him, constantly retelling his biography and his formation as one artist, the made it perfectly clear the a rapper is both a memoirist and a poet. He had a personal mythology, he had charms against despair, he had an idiosyncratic and also somewhat mysterious collection of metaphors: the reset button, the gray scale, the two-tone rebel, black paisley. Mr. Sunshine, Mr. Rainstorm, meet me in the conference room, we acquired to brainstorm. He had the rapper’s etymological agility, the clever samples and references and also rhymes, and also he had a occupational ethic undimmed by his beat ethic. One year he wrote a brand-new song every Friday, and also never slowed down all that lot from there. A musician deserve to leave us a lot in a short life, despite it’s never ever enough. Ns always thought he would certainly write something as well as rap song someday. A memoir, ns was hoping.

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I feel the loss together a fan, together a friend, together a mother, as a fellow wordsmith and also swimmer in the pool of the English language. He was no afraid to write about death. It was all v his work. I just wish we could hear what he would say now.

Through every the great things, and all the hardships and all the times that we assumed that we shed it We hold our heads high, and also keep our chins up cause when us die, well, at least we walk something us went for broke when we discovered a reason We took the course that they stated was wrong So once that song plays, you know where you were The day us live for. The day the truth worked. Work, work. Yeah the fact works in ~ the really same time, yeah, the fact hurts been taught our whole lives just to shoot an initial I’mma store living ’til they placed me in that brand-new hearse

-From coming of Age

University that Baltimore Professor Marion Winik is the writer of First comes Love, The valley Rock book of the Dead and other books. She is the organize of The Weekly Reader on WYPR. To authorize up for she monthly email, go to marionwinik.com.