Mixtape/Compilation Release; No Rating Given
When Jay Dee left Slum Village , a young hungry emcee named Elzhi was chosen to take his place. With that, the super talented emcee was brought in to bring a level of lyricism that was yet to be heard from Slum Village . But if you were fortunate enough to catch Elzhi ripping without his Slum Village brethren, you would see that there are levels to this emcee that haven’t been tapped into yet. While many of us yearn to hear a full length album by Elzhi, we must wait for him to complete his tenure with the group that brought his name to the light. Until then, Elzhi gives us a taste of what a solo album from the under appreciated lyricist could sound like with the Witness My Growth mixtape.
Throughout the mixtape, Elzhi demonstrates that he has what it takes to take the hip hop world by storm. By breaking out of the Slum Village mode and showing the industry his multiple levels of depth Elzhi makes his case for the most underappreciated emcee of the moment. Witness My Growth takes the listener on a journey from 1997-today and truly allows the listener to witness his growth. This mixtape plays more like a “lost tapes” then an actual album and the results are stellar to say the least. Whether it be Elzhi giving props to his old buddies from the “D” on the J Dilla produced remake of “Friends” or his synopsis of a relationship on “Days and Nights” the kid shows that he has much talent. He still knows how to romp with his boys as evident on the Nick Speed produced “Haters”. His penchant for rewind button pulverizing punchlines and sharp wit comes through on joints like “Gunna” and Alchemist produced “The Alchemist”. He even surveys his environment unlike any other on “Concrete Eyes”. For true fans of Elzhi this should come as no surprise, but for those who only know him from Slum Village hits like “Selfish” you have another dimension in store.
Elzhi proves throughout this mixtape that he is truly a gifted lyricist whose potential will probably never be fully reached as long as he is a member of Slum Village . That is not a knock on Slum Village but the theory holds true to many solo emcees that are in a group. They are built to be solo artists with more than enough material and substance to hold their own. Elzhi is the epitome of that statement. A group won’t truly allow Elzhi to showcase his unbelievable depth. But as of right now Slum Village is his vehicle to reach the masses until it is time for him to step out on his own and conquer the playing field with his remarkable talent. Until that time one must tide their hunger over with Witness My Growth.