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The Preface

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Coming up in Detroit, Elzhi was a regular at the legendary Hip Hop Shop sessions and started recording with The Breakfast Club and DJ Houseshoes. In 1998 he recorded the EP Out of Focus, though it wasn't released commercially and was rampantly bootlegged for years. Known for his densely layered lyrical style, Elzhi began working with the 9-2-5 Colony (alongside Nick Speed and Magestik Legend) and professionally debuted on Jay Dee/Dilla's album Welcome to Detroit. That led to some studio time with Slum Village, who soon brought him in as an official member; he stayed for the group's final five albums. The Preface was his first formally released solo effort, and it's a doozy. Released in 2008, it was produced almost entirely by Black Milk, with features from other hometown VIPs Guilty Simpson and Royce Da 5'9". This is Detroit hip-hop at its finest, with an avalanche of quotable verses, chopped samples, and pummeling beats. There's really not a soft spot here, but "Motown 25," "Transitional Joint," and "The Science" are especially dope.

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Born: 1979 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Hip-Hop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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 would become the producer's replacement beginning with the group's 2002 effort Trinity (Past,...
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Top Albums and Songs by Elzhi

The Preface, Elzhi
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