"Dedicated To The Winners & The Losers..." - Raekwon

Friday, December 11, 2009

Eating Leftovers With Elzhi

"Ugh, Nice watch..."

I always get hostilely indignant when "rap" fans claim that Jason Powers is "boring" as if simply being preternaturally gifted at the art of rapping is somehow akin to having the scarlet letter of unforgivable wackness affixed to one's lapel . If you can't appreciate the subtle yet thrilling intricacies of Elzhi's raps that's more an indictment of your own personal attention span (or perhaps need for instant gratification with easily digestible swagger) than any flaw in Elzhi as an artist. Elzhi is a rapper meticulously obsessed with the craft of rapping and his taste in the neo-boom-bap beats in the Black Milk variety is just as impeccable. Not only that but he's a rapper that is able to translate that ability into crafting perfect, little concept songs that have fully constructed narratives, themes and morals. His lyrical flash is backed up by true substance. If that's boring to you than I'm not sure why you are even interested in listening to rap music in the first place.

Elzhi's latest offering,"The Leftovers Unmixtape," is another fine edition into the Detroit rappers growing catalog. It's mostly compromised of b-sides, rarities, and remixes from Elzhi's excellent and underrated tandem ("Euro Pass" and "The Preface") of street albums last year and for fans of Elzhi's razor sharp lyrical ass lyricism, this won't disappoint. The tape features beats from long-time Elzhi collaborators, Black Milk and DJ Dez, as well neo-Dilla beatsmith luminaries like Jake One, Oh No and Moss. While this doesn't quite match the highs of its predecessors, it does feature some particularly stirring remixes of some Elzhi's classics. "Dream", Jake One's remix of personal classic "Talkin' In My Sleep", is particularly evocative.

Download: Elzhi - The Leftovers Unmixtape


goooooo said...

That second paragraph basically sums up my feelings about rap/rap fans in general but I could never quite find the words for it.

hip hop honeys said...

Good, well said article

Trey Stone said...

of course, you can be incredibly technically gifted but have no interesting personality whatsoever. just saying. when i see rappers like Elzhi getting hyped as the best in the game or whatever i just think it's people who can't deal with what hip hop's become/are total nerds about lyrics and pay no attention to the actual music and flow

DocZeus said...

Except you know... Elzhi actually makes great rap music by any standard other than people who think rappers can only have personality if they are walking stereotypes.

If a rap fan can't appreciate "Audiocinematic" or "Talkin' My Sleep" as great rap songs independent of the phenomenal displays of thats an indictment of shallowness of that said rap fan.

And I'm not saying Elzhi is the greatest rapper alive. I'm saying Elzhi is a great rapper who makes great rap music. There's nothing wrong with that.

Trey Stone said...

'course, you call them walking stereotypes, I call 'em people from the hood who still act/talk a certain way after they get money and don't forget about where they're from. I'm a suburban whiteboy but I relate to it because my mom/grandpa/my own home county is full of fake middle-aged ex-hippie '80s sellouts with their head up their ass. I wanna be rich but I won't forget my roots.

guys like Wayne, Jay, Jeezy, Young Money Clipse whoever kick real knowledge about where they're from and beyond that too. they don't force superlyrical boho-intellectual ish. I know that's some white kids' thing, it was a lot of white kids at my college's thing, but it ain't my thing. cuz they're all closet homos like jing-a-ling jing-a-ling

Trey Stone said...

also why the hell should any rap fan be concerned about being "shallow?" I listen to music for enjoyment, smart, dumb or in-between. I already got my BA thanks, I don't need to hear Def Jux/random nerd rapper who doesn't listen to black music/random bougie black rapper drop fake "knowledge." you know dudes like Dr. and Mr. Carter don't just get girls cuz of their money, there's something called game that Se~n~or Lupe and Elfzi lack cuz they're too busy in their mom's basement scribbling their superduperlyrical rhymes

Trey Stone said...

no disrespect to middle-class black people of course, shout out to K-West and G-double-O-D musique