[The great Detroit rapper Elzhi recently sat down with hip-hop personality and SOHH correspondent Shawn Setaro on his popular “The Cipher” podcast. Listen to the full interview and check out five gems he dropped during the Q&A.]

On finding out the true meaning of his rap name:

“The city had not only a hip-hop scene, but also a spiritual part of the scene as well. There was a lot of dudes on the scene learning Hebrew, one being Baatin. And Baatin straight-up told me, ‘Man, your name means something [in Hebrew].’ I’m like, ‘What does it mean?’ He said, ‘God spirit.’ I’m like, okay, cool. I’m gonna roll with that.”

On the inspiration for his song “Motown 25”:

I was a big Michael Jackson fan. That’s all they was playing in the neighborhood. I’d hear it in my house. My cousin stayed next door to me at the time, and I’d go over there and they’d be playing Michael Jackson. I remember getting my first “Beat It” jacket with the zippers and everything. For my birthday, I had a Michael Jackson book. So I was a big Michael Jackson fan. And I remember the time he did the moonwalk on [the 1983 TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever]. That was crazy.”

On what he learned by re-doing Nas’ Illmatic as Elmatic:

Illmatic is the superior record. It’s in my top five. I gained an even bigger appreciation for it, and what Nas did at that early age. He was a kid doing that record, and it was incredible.”

On writing about his depression on his new album, Lead Poison:

“Once I started writing what I was going through, then I started feeling better. Because I had records where I was just rhyming. They were cool, but I wasn’t really feeling it. Then when I made that decision like, maybe I need to get this out of me, I went through that dark stage where I was writing a lot of dark stuff. But then I found a balance.”

On the meditation instructions in his new song “Healing Process”:

“When I was going through that process to heal myself, I would go on YouTube and check out meditation music and self-help audiobooks. And I was like, since we’re on the topic of doing this, I felt like I wanted to make my own for people that may want to put it on in the morning and feel good about themselves, maybe start their day off right.”