12 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A Detroit emcee who's been steadily paying dues since the late '90s, Elzhi is well known in his hometown and is finally starting to be recognized outside of the D. As a kid he attended open mics at the legendary Hip Hop Shop before collaborating with local players like DJ HouseShoes and 9-2-5 Colony (with Nick Speed and Majestik Legend), and he later joined Slum Village after J Dilla left the group. He was featured prominently on five SV releases and also dropped a pair of EPs and the well-received solo album The Prelude in 2008. Elmatic is his most impressive work to date; it's a tribute to Nas' landmark Illmatic, set to stellar production from the live band Will Sessions. With 12 tracks that highlight his undeniable lyrical skills, he puts a new spin on beloved classics like "Memory Lane," "Life's a B*tch," and "It Ain't Hard to Tell." He branches out on "Verbal Intercourse Part 2," where he vents his frustration with the music industry. A high-quality concept mixtape, this sets the stage for his album The Feed.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A Detroit emcee who's been steadily paying dues since the late '90s, Elzhi is well known in his hometown and is finally starting to be recognized outside of the D. As a kid he attended open mics at the legendary Hip Hop Shop before collaborating with local players like DJ HouseShoes and 9-2-5 Colony (with Nick Speed and Majestik Legend), and he later joined Slum Village after J Dilla left the group. He was featured prominently on five SV releases and also dropped a pair of EPs and the well-received solo album The Prelude in 2008. Elmatic is his most impressive work to date; it's a tribute to Nas' landmark Illmatic, set to stellar production from the live band Will Sessions. With 12 tracks that highlight his undeniable lyrical skills, he puts a new spin on beloved classics like "Memory Lane," "Life's a B*tch," and "It Ain't Hard to Tell." He branches out on "Verbal Intercourse Part 2," where he vents his frustration with the music industry. A high-quality concept mixtape, this sets the stage for his album The Feed.

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7:21
3:48
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3:12

About Elzhi

A gifted MC and outspoken critic of commercial hip-hop, eLZhi began his career rubbing shoulders with Waajeed, Dwele, and the other gifted Detroit artists involved in the city's flourishing late-'90s underground hip-hop scene. After an appearance on Jay Dee's groundbreaking 2001 album Welcome 2 Detroit, eLZhi joined the producer's crew, Slum Village. With Jay Dee spending more time with other artists, eLZhi became the producer's replacement, beginning with the group's 2002 effort Trinity (Past, Present and Future). Two more albums from the group -- 2004's Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit) plus a self-titled effort in 2005 -- appeared before eLZhi began focusing on his solo career with the 2008 release The Preface.

He reunited with Slum Village for a 2010 LP, Villa Manifesto, although one fellow Villager, Baatin, died before its release. An array of hip-hop luminaries appeared on the album, including Posdnuos, Phife Dawg, Little Brother, Dwele, and DJ Babu. Villa Manifesto was eLZhi's last with the group, however. He sprang back into solo action with a mixtape, Elmatic, conceived as a tribute to Nas' Illmatic; eLZhi wrote all the rhymes while Will Sessions produced. A Kickstarter campaign helped fund his next venture, Lead Poison, released in 2016. ~ David Jeffries

  • ORIGIN
    Detroit, MI
  • BORN
    1979

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