On Elmatic, Detroit’s Elzhi rewrite’s Nas’ seminal Illmatic to fit his personal story. Thanks to his flow, lyricism, and some production help from the Will Sessions band, the project goes off without a hitch.
I’m sure it’ll be debated whether or not this album is better than the original. And, of course, Illmatic will reign supreme. I’m not here to put my two cents in on that one, though.
What I will say is from the perspective of a tribute, revitalization, or revamp, this thing is freaking fantastic. Hell, it’s more enjoyable than a lot of original albums I come across. It’s just a nice reminder of hip hop’s best characteristics, and what a trip it’s been since the ’94 release of the original.