Hip-hop has been accused of many things — some say sampling is never more than a mere rip off of the original beat, that every lyric is a redundant stockpile of ghetto clichés about rags to riches, bitches and bling. So the mimicking of one of the genre’s most celebrated albums song title for song title, beat for beat, may seem like a lazy retread instead of, to use another cliché, the highest form of flattery. But the mind behind the mic this time is none other than Elzhi, Detriot’s most lauded underground MC of Slum Village fame. And his homage is dedicated to none other than the landmark debut of rap’s street apostle, Nas. At first that distinction between retread and remake isn’t too obvious. His version of “N.Y. State of Mind”, dubbed “Detroit State of Mind,” hardly seems different initially — the plodding beat is almost the same note for note. Yet, deep down, this mixtape is a great tribute to that ghetto role model and his great album.

3 ½ out of 5



All Content Copyright © SEE Magazine 2008 About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Contest Disclaimer