While love songs and gangsta rap will always have their places in hip hop, nothing gets heads nodding faster than a little good ol’ fashioned battle rap. Maybe it’s the catharsis of hearing lyricists artfully vent their anger, or the pleasant sense of awe in asking, “did that just happen?” after hearing a nail-in-the-coffin punchline? Detroit rapper Elzhi’s new single, Motown 25, is filled with so many clever jabs that it will take you at least four or five listens to fully appreciate the two verses. Royce Da 5’9”, never at a loss for heated words, is a welcome addition to the track. Black Milk, an up-and-coming producer for Elzhi’s group, Slum Village, handles the beat, weaving various Motown samples together over thick percussion. It all comes together as some timeless Motor City hip hop. Motown 25 appears on Elzhi’s first full-length solo album, The Preface.
Written by Charlie E. on Aug 27, 2008
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