This is the 4th full-length album from Detroit veteran eLZhi. Rising to prominence as a member of Slum Village shortly after the departure of the late J Dilla about 2 decades ago, he eventually saw success of his own with his classic solo debut The Preface in the summer of ‘08 & was followed up 8 years later with Lead Poison. His last album 7 Times Down, 8 Times Up just celebrated it’s 1 year anniversary a few months back & that happens to be my 2nd favorite of his behind The Preface due to JR Swiftz’ stellar production as well as it’s resilience heavy concept. However, eLZhi is now enlisting Georgia Anne Muldrow behind the boards for Zhigeist.
After the “News from the Ship” intro, the first song “Amnesia” sets off the album with a peppy ballad advising not to forget that you’re loved whereas “Every Moment” goes into soulful territory talking about decorating every day in your own way. “King Shit (Say Word)” mixes some pianos & synthesizers to declare himself royalty leading into “Understanding”, which swaps out the synths for a funky bass-line talking about comprehending one another.
Meanwhile on “Already Gone”, we have eLZhi keeping the funk going describing himself as somewhat of a mystery just before “Strangeland” works in some keys & dusty drums to talk about being king. “Pros & Cons” comes through with a powerful dedication to all his peoples while the song “Nefertiti” goes into a more romantic direction & it’s just alright. But after the interlude, “Compassion” closes out the album fantastically by going back into a funkier route thanking listeners.
I’m always excited for new eLZhi given that he’s one of my top 5 emcees to ever come out of my hometown & he sure did deliver here. I find it intriguing the way Georgia blends elements of multiple genres in her production & together, they deliver a damn near perfect love letter to people of color.