Phonte & Elzhi Reunite On A New Song & They Are Razor Sharp (Audio)
When Little Brother released The Minstrel Show, it was a huge moment for many Hip-Hop Heads. The North Carolina-based trio that won the hearts of fans with 2003’s The Listening joined Atlantic Records and seemingly represented a real chance for putting a disenfranchised side of the genre back on radio, video shows, and in front of the mainstream. That’s not exactly what happened after the 2005 album released, to no fault of the group’s. Nonetheless, Little Bro’s second LP is among LB’s most celebrated projects—and a seminal 2000s Hip-Hop LP.
The most notable guest on that album was Elzhi. Then a Slum Village member, the Detroit, Michigan MC was facing his industry hurdles of his own with labels and the towering walls of media. Fresh off of two Top 40 releases for the Villa’s day with Capitol Records, Elzhi appeared on Little Brother’s “Hiding Place.” As he had done since the top of the decade, Elzhi busted his raps with intensity. Phonte Coleman and Elzhi would later appear together alongside Drake early on too, care of Comeback Season‘s “Think Good Thoughts.” Both moments were powerful pivots to El’s subsequent solo run which as recently as 2016’s Lead Poison, is very consistent. From Detroit to Raleigh-Durham, the chemistry was undeniable.
Phonte and Elzhi reunite on “Destiny N Stereo,” which also features Tigallerro’s Eric Roberson. The song belongs to Chris Dave and The Drumhedz, from the forthcoming January 26 Blue Note Records release. Elzhi starts things off with rib-sticking bars like, “I’m as big as that Brooklyn writer from the East Coast / As a deceased ghost, here’s an increased dose / Of that raw exquisite / Haven’t been down since I came up, so I feel like I defy The Law of Physics / In this time I’m containing a plan / To drop a jewel on whoever the weakest link on your chain of command.” ‘Tay and Eric provide a big and bright sung chorus after the verse. Then, Phonte puts on his MC hat and rolls up his sleeves. “Rap like he starvin’ / Un-civil writer, rap like he marchin’ / And then he sang, like he Marvin / Not sayin’ I’m great / Just sayin’ that I alienate myself from competition like he martian / ‘Til I’m departin’ / Stay abreast like I’m departin’,” switching an ill double entendre referencing buxom Country music Queen Dolly Parton. Both of these MCs have not dropped a ton of verses in 2017, but stayed as sharp as ever. Both displays come over a true knocking beat by the band who creates a groove that would make many MCs salivate.
One year ago, Pete Rock told Ambrosia For Heads that if he were to assemble a band, The Drumhedz would be on his list:
The tracklist to Chris Dave’s LP:
1. Rocks Crying
2. Universal Language [ft. KRNDN, Sy Smith, D.Rose]
3. Dat Feelin [ft. Sir, Tiffany Gouche, Keyon Harrold]
4. Black Hole [ft. Anderson .Paak]
6. Spread Her Wings [ft. Bilal, Tweet]
8. Sensitive Granite [ft. Kendra Foster]
9. Cosmic Intercourse [ft. Stokley Williams, Casey Benjamin]
10. Atlanta, Texas [ft. Goapele and Shafiq Husayn]
11. Destiny n Stereo [ft. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman, Eric Roberson]
12. Clear View [ft. Anderson .Paak, Sir]
13. Job Well Done [ft. Anna Wise, Sir]
14. Lady Jane
15. Trippy Tipsy