Elzhi (w/ Will Sessions) – ELmatic
In my very humble opinion, Elzhi is one of the very best MCs out, and have been for probably the last 5 or 6 years. I really think there are only a handful of rapper, less than five, that can stay with him on everyone’s best day. What I also like is that he almost never takes a 16 off – he’s been amazingly consistent in being great, whether it’s his own work, or other artists’ tracks.
This is a XXL-sponsored tribute to Nas’ legendary debut Illmatic. (IMO, in the top 3-5 greatest rap albums ever. Honestly, the album could get a study on its own. Nas has been helped and hurt by his own greatness. A lot has been made of the amazing production, and it was. But it was Nas bursting forward as THE preeminent lyricist of his time, much to the chagrin of a one Jay-Z – who pretty much acknowledged Nas’ supremacy by inciting and then trying to destroy him, albeit unsuccessfully. But that’s another post.) Getting back to Elzhi, he basically kills every track. He has literally everything in the MC utility belt. In baseball, he would be the Willie Mays, five tool player. He doesn’t try to copy Nas, although he’s made it clear that he’s cut his skills from the same cloth at the Queensbridge MC. The production is exceptional as well – Will Sessions does the original music justice, and even adds to it in a way, with the jazzy breakdowns.
Grade: A. I wouldn’t have been mad if he put this out for sale, because the quality of the entire project is rather astonishing. It feels complete, and different. As my boy Dave said – It’s “remarkable”. I’d like to believe Nas would be incredibly proud.