Crying Over Pros For No Reason, the debut album by Los Angeles producer edIT, is one of the foundational records for this project. It changed my life when I discovered shortly after its release in 2004 on Planet Mu. It inspired a lot of the early work that would lead to the book. It was ahead of its time.
I recently wrote a piece on it for FACT magazine’s revived Lost And Found series, where writers discuss albums they feel were ‘slept on’. The piece details not only my feelings about the music, and its lasting power, but also the importance and place of the record in this story I’m trying to tell with the book. I interviewed edIT in 2008 for what was the first incarnation of the project – a series of articles for Serie B magazine in Spain – and have included a few key quotes from that in the piece.
Crying Over Pros was groundbreaking for many reasons, least of which was its blend of hip hop, IDM and electronic dance music aesthetics, a blend perfected in a way that hadn’t been heard up to that point.
Crying Over Pros is, at its core, a hip hop album, albeit one that had no raps, pushing it into the dreaded instrumental sub-genre. But then it also had little of the sonic qualities of much of the instrumental hip hop that preceded it. It was quite unlike anything else before it, without any obvious scene or genre to belong to. Like other visionary releases of the time from the likes of Prefuse 73 and Dabrye, Crying Over Pros was hip hop if you accepted that hip hop didn’t have to be defined by its twin poles of mainstream and underground, or by the standard aesthetics most people pulled from. edIT sought UK label Planet Mu because he was a fan of their output but also because he understood – consciously or not – that such an unconventional album needed an unconventional home. Despite having interest from another, US-based label, the album ended up on Planet Mu after Mike Paradinas got in touch to say how much he liked it. Speaking to Paradinas recently about the release, he recounted how Ma’s vision struck a chord with him and how he also saw the album as hip hop, albeit with a twist.