Last year Fashawn's Ode To Illmatic built an incredibly solid case for those opposed to revivalism. The most memorable aspect of his tribute was the fact it temporarily deflated my anticipation for Elzhi’s similarly themed project. Fortunately, my faith was restored with the release of 'Detroit State of Mind'. In addition to encompassing a refreshingly aggressive delivery, Elzhi managed to successfully shift the focus of the original narrative. 'New York State of Mind' is absolutely a regional anthem, but the lyrics are self-absorbed and mostly concentrate on The Big Apple's influence on a teenage Nasir's style, sanity, and ambitions. Meanwhile, its mid-western counterpart employs the same vantage point, but instead documents the plight of Detroit's inhabitants rather than unraveling personal tribulations. Whether or not Elzhi's deviation from Nas' blueprint was intentional or simply a result of misinterpretation is debatable. Regardless, the nuance suggests Elmatic has the potential to serve as more than merely a declaration of inspiration.
Elzhi - Detroit State of Mind