Elzhi Sounds Superhuman On His First Song With Madlib (Audio)

Although the two are brothers, Madlib and Oh No have only collaborated on a handful of tracks over the years. The Oxnard, California Brothers Jackson first introduced themselves as The Professionals on Madlib’s 2008 “Beat Generation” series album, WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip, with their track “I Want It Back.” The Lootpack and Gangrene members, respectively, teamed up again several times on Medicine Show albums and Adult Swim loosies. Now, The Professionals ready their debut for early 2020 via Madlib’s label, Madlib Invazion. The Jacksons are giving Heads the album’s first taste with a song featuring two lyrical O.G.’s: Elzhi and Chino XL.

On “Superhumans,” Oh No and Madlib explode onto the track with a raw drum loop, scratching, and a vocal sample of Too Short rapping, “I must have superpowers.” Oh No starts the tune off, spitting a few dizzying lines over the cut’s high-pitched synths: “Marvel the marvelous / Blow your marbles all on the marble floor where the target is, and play marbles wit’ it / In a straitjacket, my mind is a powerhouse, a nuclear blast, all I taste is acid.” Elzhi’s kicks up a mean two-liner for the song’s second verse, rapping on point, per usual. Although Madlib has worked with Detroit’s Guilty Simpson on full-length OJ Simpson, this marks his first properly released union with Elzhi. “El be going hard like he’s trying to make his ex look / I ain’t learn to earn these types of checks inside a textbook.” He goes on to ride the beat, tightly flowing through with superhuman precision before Chino XL closes the track out on a high note, with one of his trademark punchlines. “The Puerto Rican superhero sniffin’ kryptonite / It’s a trip tonight / You could possibly f*ck yourself like a hermaphrodite,” XL raps, kicking the pace up in double-time and scattering superhero references throughout his verse. The trio connects with uncanny ability here, definitely earning their own rights to deem themselves superhuman.

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According to Rappcats, The Professionals’ self-titled debut will only see three features: Chino XL, Elzhi, and Adub. The album will release on January 17, 2020, and the vinyl will feature an all-black embossed and die-cut cover, featuring artwork by Gustavo Eandi and Jeff Jank. There will also be a 2LP version of the album bundled with a 7-inch single featuring Freddie Gibbs, which may presumably be “The Next Day.”

The Professionals tracklist:

01. My House
02. The Professionals
03. Payday
04. Give N Take
05. Superhumans
06. Buggin
07. CDP Smackdown
08. Timeless Treasure
09. I Jus Wanna
10. Away Too Long
11. Make Due
12. Tired Atlas
13. Dishonored Valor

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Earlier this year, Madlib partnered with Freddie Gibbs for Bandana. Oh No linked with Blu for A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night as well as New York MC/producer Fokis on This Thing Called Life.

New music by Elzhi and Madlib currently appears on the official Ambrosia For Heads Playlist.

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#BonusBeat: At the top of the decade, Elzhi released a video for the “Undefeated Freestyle,” which was recorded to a Madlib beat, “The Comeup (Come Down)”: