Wednesday, August 6, 2008

First Peek/Review: Elzhi - The Preface

Release Date: August 12, 2008

I've been a fan of Slum Village for several years, but it was until only recently that I became aware of what Elzhi was cookin' up for 2008. He dropped the Europass (An Exclusive Tour CD) album a little while back (phat shouts to smokeYYY from That Real Ish for tuning me in), and now Elzhi's got another banger for your ears: The Preface. A particular track ("Motown 25") featuring fellow Detroit emcee Royce Da 5'9" has been making the rounds in the blogosphere, but that's not all that The Preface offers. From front to back, this album packs production carried out by J Dilla-heir Black Milk (14 of the album's 16 tracks) along with heat rocks from T3 and DJ Dez (the remaining 2 tracks). One of the great aspects of The Preface -- a quality which I notice in many Detroit hip hop albums -- is the sense of unity and city pride, not found in other regions. On The Preface, Elzhi makes it a family affair, bringing along fellow Motown emcees like Royce, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Fat Ray, Black Milk and more. The posse cut "Fire (Remix)", with a total of six emcees, plays much like a cipher, emulating the collectivity of earlier hip hop. Playful rhyme-play abound ("Brag Swag": "No statistic, to bitch niggas I'm chauvinistic/ I toke a biscuit, carry arms like shoulder disc-es/"), Elzhi also drops knowledge and waxes consciousness ("What I Write", "D.E.M.O.N.S.") with ease. Gritty and grimy, yet soulful and free, Elzhi's The Preface is Detroit hip hop at it's finest. Turn it up!!

Still a skeptic? As usual, check out some preview tracks:

DOWNLOAD [zShare MP3]:
Elzhi - Colors
Elzhi - What I Write

VIDEOS [YouTube]:
Elzhi Performing "Motown 25" & "That's That One" [LIVE]
Elzhi - Hip Hop Official Artist of the Week (Interview)