Guest Star: "It's A Tribute To One Of The Illest Albums That's Ever Touched Hip-Hop"
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1:55PM
[With today's long-awaited release of elmatic, Detroit rap veteran eLZhi explains his motivation to make a tribute to Nas' 1994 classic, Illmatic.]
The main reason why I decided to put together this project is because there's been people online that's known about the elmatic for three years. Honestly, if it wasn't for them, after all these years and them still asking for the elmatic, I don't know if I would have really put it out there like that. That's one reason I'm putting it out there for free, for everybody that's been waiting on it.
The second big reason is because it's a tribute. It's a tribute to one of the illest albums, in my opinion, that's ever touched hip-hop. It's my love letter to Illmatic and it's me just showing love and showing the youth that may not have heard of Illmatic to go out and check it out.
The goal more than anything was to make sure we had that essence. That's what me and Sam, the leader of Will Sessions, talked about. We wanted to make sure the essence is there but we also want to add our own little twist to it where we're putting ourselves into the music so certain concepts that might have been on the Illmatic album, I flipped and made into concepts that I would have made. That was just a little touch that we thought about doing. We wanted to make sure the essence was in there.
It was a blessing to get contributions. Royce Da 5'9 is like my peoples. Me and Royce have been doing music since we were like 16, 17 years-old. We go way back but Stokley [from Mint Condition] was really a blessing. I've been listening to Mint Condition since I was young so to get him to get down on the project was incredible. For Pete Rock to get on the project and give me that stamp of approval was incredible too.
I think this is a one time thing for the elmatic. The next thing for it is to go out and do tours. It's an eight-piece band by the name of Will Sessions who did the instrumentations on it. So me and Will Sessions hope to come to a city near you to perform it. That's a little thing we got going and we also have videos in the works. I really wanted to put people up on Illmatic and even though I'm sure everyone is, I wanted to hopefully inspire any aspiring artists who don't know about Illmatic but can peep the vibe in elmatic. I definitely want them to go and encourage Illmatic and have people go out and check it out.
Elzhi made his international debut on "Come and Get It," a stand out song from Jay Dee's (J Dilla) debut album, Welcome 2 Detroit. The widespread praise for the track led to Elzhi joining the group Slum Village in 2002. The albums that Elzhi recorded as a member of the group - Trinity, Detroit Deli, and Slum Village - have sold more than 600,000 copies and established Slum Village as one of the most respected hip-hop groups in the world. With The JAE.B Group as new management since 2010 and Elzhi's departure from the record label that is home of Slum Village, Elzhi is now focused on reaching new heights. After a decade of recording, and years of international touring under his belt, Elzhi has the focus and experience to conquer new levels of success as a solo artist and one of the greatest emcees.
Check out eLZhi's "Halftime" below: