Elzhi – The Leftovers Unmixedtape Review


Elzhi – The Leftovers Unmixedtape Review

If you haven’t heard of Elzhi you have probably heard of the group he is in Slum Village.  They have had a couple hits, or at least near hits.  They were probably best known for their production courtesy of the late great genius Jay Dilla.

Elzhi was a later addition to the group and he is simply a ridiculous emcee.  I think he is one of the best doing it right now.  He is right up there with the Lupe’s, Royce’s etc…

On his website he has a new “mixtape” to download.  It is basically a collection of some of his unreleased materials and recent features.  This is a free download and you can actually get it at FLAC quality – awesome.

Here is my review…

1. The Great One (Prod by Oh No) – Great production on this track, some kind of cool classic rock sample.  I made a mention of the electric guitar on the BG album and how it was so generic, this is how to use the electric guitar in a rap beat.  I don’t even know how to explain Elzhi’s lyrics – they are really really advanced…Im just going to have to transcribe some bars here – and even that won’t do him any justice:

This is mental heat on a sheet/
written from the seat/
sitting in the presidential suite/
off the damn weed/
light it up to make my hand bleed/
poetry that hopefully breathes what a fan need/

I can barely keep up to him to transcribe that, mere written words do this guy no justice.

2. Deep (Prod by Black Milk)
– This song has been out a minute – first thing you notice is the beat…and you notice it because of the drums.  To anyone who is making rap beats – Black Milk drums are what you want to use.  If you use another drum sound that sounds any less awesome than these – you are a dickhead.  As for Elzhie – I’ll let his lyrics do the talking:

Im the bell ringer/
Shell slinger/
hiding bodies till the smell linger/
till they paler than Renee Zelwegger/

3. Contra (Prod by Apollo Brown)
– Cool beat kind of a WU-Tang feel to it – I think this sample is used a lot though.  Elzhi really loves rapping over these classic boom bap beats – reminds me of early nineties hip-hop in that  respect.  This track features another rapper that is just ok – kind of a cool flow, Elzhi kills it of course:

Hiding guns in my abercromie with a dime p/
getting more brains than a zombie, times three/
ladies love cool j/
i need a bitch with more class than a school day/
i heard a fool say i wasn’t in his top three/
stepped off with a broke arm and popped knee/

Wow – I mean it is hard for me to type this because it is almost hard to figure out where a bar ends a bar begins…times three…dime p…cool j, school day…fool say…top three…popped knee.  Dude is so intricate it is insane.

4. Like This (Prod by Black Milk)
– Alright some more Black Milk drums..best drums in the history of rap honestly. The kind of snares that snap your eyes open every hit.  Lets listen in on Elzhi again:

So hi haters, Im back off hiatus/
with my latest, mega fly so why rate this/
I your worst case scenario in stereo/
tell a nigga suit so you can wear it to your burial/
what i said was over your head so call it aerial/

5. Red, Black and Green (Prod by Black Milk) – Man if you are one of those people who complain about new hip-hop then you need to check out Black Milks beats – classic.  I won’t mention the drums this time – but I want to.  Elzhi does his normal ridiculous thing:

Yo the red is for the blood shed/
the black is for the color who bled/
over the green by any means, thats the bread/

6. Glow (Prod by Jake One)
– This is another song I am already familiar with, it is off a great compilation album by Jake One – check that out if you get the chance.  Cool beat here.  Elzhi is well Elzhi…

You can’t stop me from shining, extreme and bright /
it seems i write beams of light/
I spit it out and make a star in the sky reside/
Every bar is like carbon dioxide/

7. Living (Prod by DJ Dez) – A pretty subdued beat with a cool soul sample.  I find this beat really smooth and it is a nice switch up from the hard hitting drums from the songs above.  Instead of spitting straight heat and intricate wordplay on this Elzhi slips into storytelling mode:

You look so ghetto in your golden opened toe stilettos/
your hair be fried to the side and dyed so close to yellow/
always up at some party, you such a club rat/
hood rat, mall rat, pfft yeah you all that/

8. Dream (prod by Jake One) – Whoa a bit of a change in beat here, maybe it is the mixing (or lack thereof) on the mixtape but this beat drops a bit harshly.  After turning down the volume a bit and getting used to the change in styles from the last beat – it gets better.  I know this is a mixtape but if this was an album it would prove why sequencing of songs is important.  Elzhi is again on some storytelling vibe here, I am loving his versatility:

Yo could it be a dream, Im finally rich in wealth/
I’m not convinced let me pinch myself/
was my Mother even sick in health?/
then why ain’t she dead, we conversating/
Or Im just lying in bed/

He goes on to paint the picture of a crazy dream – great song.

9. The Crowd (Prod by Leef)
– On first listen this is a weaker beat than we have heard so far.  Great drums though, Leef must be familiar with Black Milk.  it is the kind of beat I probably won’t listen to many times more.  The vocal sample is misused IMO.  Elzhi kills it but since I am not feeling the beat, I am not gonna bother transcribing the lyric.  I really wish some of these lyrics were on the net.

10. Dedication (Prod by DJ Dez)
– Cool beat, with some nice horns – reminds me a bit of Nas – Illmatic style beats for some reason..maybe smoother – not in a good way but still a sick beat.  I am only going to give you one line from this but it made me rewind like 4 times…

This is brand new from the man who the fans knew that ran through your clan with the plan that he hand drew

Yeah, this dude is pretty handy with the pen.

11. Colors remix (Prod by DJ Spinna)
– Not feeling this beat – pretty smooth but I don’t know – just doesn’t hit me like some of the beats on here. Elzhi obviously meant this as a concept song, since he uses the title of the track quite literally

Im in the middle of gods green earth chilling right/
but mothers feeling blue because their kids dealing white/
for the brown paper bag money, from the head junkies/
they want to rock purple labels and red monkies/

12. Flyest (Prod by Denmark Vessey) – A cool spacey beat that would fit perfect on a Devin The Dude album.  Elzhi matches the smoked out beat with similar lyrics.  I am sick of transcribing lyrics – but I think I have proven dude can spit.

13. 5 Man Hustle (Prod by Black Milk) –
Drums blah blah blah drums blah blah blah.  yeah that is what I would sound like if I explained this beat.  It is like most Black Milk work – good stuff.  Elzhi raps in kind of a 50’s criminal voice – nothing as HORRIBLE as Nas that one time, but it is still on some “Myrrrr Coppers, seeee”.  Id rather he stick with his normal voice…it is actually enough to make me skip the song.

14. Clash of The Titans (Prod by MoSS)
– Pretty cool beat, kind of reminds me what you would hear on the Slaughterhouse album though and that production gets old to me very quick. This track is a posse cut featuring some other Detroit based rappers – most notably Royce The 5’9″.  Royce and Elzhi need to do an album together with full Black Milk production. As for who had the best verse, welll this is how Elzhi opens up his verse…

This nigga biting while Im thinking writing
to get the ink igniting
so when it move its like a streak of lightning

The verse only gets better from there too.

All in all a great mixtape – yeah msot of this stuff was available in other places, but it is great to have it altogether in one pace in good quality and no DJs.  Also a lot of the songs where he was featured on, just include his verse.  I have nothing agianst trimming the lesser MC’s off an Elzhi track.

Go to his site and download now!  It is FREE.

The Man The Myth The Legend

  • achildofjesus

    this is why i love hip hop,Elzhi mak me love hip hop...

  • Good review. Levels were definitely an issue putting this together.

  • Mixtape is still great - and can't wait for Elzhi to release a new album.

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