If the dictionary were to inexplicably start using pictures of rappers to illustrate abstract nouns, then you’d see Shane Eli‘s face sitting right next to the definition of “vision.” While we’ve received hints of the scale of the L.A. native’s ambitions in the sheer variety of his previous features, nowhere has it been so clear as on his latest effort. Making its world premiere in the Booth, When We Were Kings finds the freestyle series alum speaking in the tradition of African-American luminaries from Pac and Hova to Muhammad Ali and Geoffrey Canada (who appear in sampled interviews, adorned with authentic cuts by DJ Critical Hype). Delivered over a self-produced, chopped-sample instrumental reminiscent of a soulful RZA beat, Eli comes with some of his most thought-provoking rhymes yet, launching a bitter (but constructive) attack against the status quo: “Free market business got the most packed prisons, torn down systems two teachers to a district, and the kids can’t read ‘cause their textbooks are missing.” If you’re digging this bracing, insightful cut, you can find Kings and much more on Shane Eli’s Booth-sponsored I Can Do Better LP, coming in March.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Grey Area" (2010)
Member Reviews and Ratings
- Win an Exclusive Vinyl Version of De La Soul’s “Smell The Da.I.S.Y.” [CONTEST]
- DJ Drama x Don Cannon x Trendsetter Sense - The Boondocks Mixtape (Season 4)
- Mick Jenkins - Steam
- Top Hip Hop / R&B Music Chart (April 14, 2014)
- Future - Honest LP
- Nas - Illmatic XX
- Dizzy Wright - State of Mind EP
- Locksmith - A Thousand Cuts
- 25 Most Popular Hip-Hop & R&B Songs of March 2014
- The Best Hip Hop Songs & Albums of 2013!
Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.