If anyone was ever suited to recreating Illmatic, It was Elzhi (and no, not because 'El' is similar to 'ill'...smh). His rhyme scheme heavy bars and 'street' orientated content, together with his flawless flow are a great match to what Nas was doing in the mid 90's. What ELzhi has managed to do though is pay tribute to the classic LP while putting his won touch to it. Will Sessions did a, quite frankly, brilliant job in recreating the production while adding a Detroit feel to it and some of the intro's/outro's are stunning, particuarly the intro to Represent (man does that get me pumped!) and the outro to 'One Love'. Elzhi himself is pretty much flawless and puts on one of his best performances to date with his take on 'Memory Lane' being one of my favourite tracks of his to date.
So I visited places where spots got shot on a daily basisMuch like the original record there is zero filler and the whole release has a ton of replay value. I'd say the only real mishap is the lone guest verse, Royce's on 'Life's A Bitch'. No one expected him to compete with AZ's classic bars but he could have at least put in one of his better verses knowing the comparisons that were going to be drawn.
Where kids pull triggers with babyfaces
Wait, I must be on the wrong side of the lane trail
Where they rob memory banks and end up in the brain cell
Where all my misery and pain dwell
I'm said to leave out my state of mind before the train bail
Highlights: Detroit State of Mind, Memory Lane, Represent
More Elzhi: Check out his Black Milk produced debut, 'The Preface'.