Perhaps one of the most intimidating assignments for a MC is to recreate the “Illmatic” album, arguably the best Hip Hop album ever produced. I personally wouldn’t attempt this feat; it would mean the next three years of my life consecutively being secluded in the “dungeons of rap.” The English language accomplishment was completed wonderfully by Detroit wordsmith Elzhi on “Elmatic.” This free release was critically acclaimed not only for its complex lyricism, but the fact that it complemented the ’94 classic; he also completely murked his corresponding Oakland New Parish performance for this project. I am far from a Hip Hop historian, but we can all agree that utmost lyrical complexity, which stays true to the original feel of “Illmatic” is necessary for any seasoned rapper to even attempt to remake this classic. In other words, you must be at Elzhi-lyricism level to succeed at this assignment.
Last summer, I stumbled by this flier at Bar Ado in Osaka, Japan. Very interesting… A Japanese MC from Osaka remaking the Nas classic.