Elzhi – “Life’s A Bitch” (ft. Royce da 5’9″ & Stokley Williams)

So I didn’t get around to making an America-themed mixtape yesterday–a quick perusal of my library reminded me that the prevailing attitude about America in indie rock songs is either sarcastic or biting. So such a mixtape might’ve been a bit of a buzzkill.

But here’s an excellent tune to get your work week off to a good start. It’s from the new mixtape by Detroit rapper and one-time Slum Village member Elzhi, entitled Elmatic. (You can download it here.) As that title might lead you to guess, the mixtape consists of Elzhi’s reinterpretations of Nas’ songs from hip-hop Bible Illmatic, all backed by the oddly-titled live band Will Sessions. The renditions range from faithful to impressionistic, and album highlight “Life’s A Bitch” is one of the latter. The original song’s hook is preserved, and Will Sessions play a rearrangement of the beat, over which Elzhi and fellow Detroit native Royce da 5’9″ deliver razor-sharp verses. This is followed by a muted trumpet solo, and just when the song seems ready to fade away, the band keeps the groove going. They are soon joined by some smooth crooning courtesy of Stokley Williams (lead singer of 80s R&B band Mint Condition). This one is definitely worth a listen, especially if you spend a lot of time cruising around the block.

Elzhi (ft. Royce da 5’9″ & Stokley Williams) – “Life’s A Bitch”

[audio https://theashtraysays.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/07-lifes-a-bitch_feat-royce-da-59-and-stokley-williams-of-mint-condition-prod-will-sessions-1.mp3]
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~ by toren on July 5, 2011.

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