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eLZhi Explains “The Leftovers Unmixedtape” (Part 1 of 3)

January 6, 2010

eLZhi decided to share some brief stories behind each of the tracks from his “Leftovers Unmixedtape.” In this part (1 of 3) eLZhi talks about his songs “The Great,” “Deep,” “Red, Black and Green” and “Dream.”   Part 2 will be posted next week. Here’s what eLZhi had to say:

The Great
I linked up with Oh No, and recorded “The Great” a long time ago. It’s like five or six years old. Oh No sent me a beat CD, and that was one of the beats I chose. I recorded it to the track, I let him check it out, and he thought it was dope. We were planning to work on an entire album, but our schedules didn’t allow for it at the time. Originally “The Great” was leaked on a fan made mix around 2006.  I know it didn’t really get out to the people how I wanted it to, so I brought it back here, for the “Leftovers”.

Deep
“Deep” was me just flexing my skills as a MC.  I heard the beat off of a Black Milk beat CD, and I thought it was funky. It was just me trying to school emcees. That’s why I said, “A bunch of new school n***** I wouldn’t fuc***’ pass, they should flunk in class.” Me and Black went into the studio on this one, just to keep my skills sharp….  Just me schoolin’ cats.

Red, Black and Green
I call “Red, Black and Green” the story of my black people doing anything for the blood money. Someone said that it might make some people mad that I’m using those colors when it’s the colors of African pride, but I don’t think it’ll piss anybody off. It’s just me being a narrator to what is going on in the streets. I’m not for it, and I’m not trying to knock nobody’s hustle neither. I’m just trying to be a voice of reason. I want to just let people know that don’t live in these environments what’s going on. Cats are doing what they’ve got to do because it’s hard to find a legit job, and get money in a legit way out here. Because of that, my people are out for the blood money. That’s why I say, “The red is for the bloodshed, the black is for the color who bled, getting green by any means, that’s the bread.”

Dream
The version on “Leftovers” is actually the second version of “Talking In My Sleep.” The first version was done over a Nick Speed beat, and that one’s called “The Dream Song.” The second version on Leftovers is done by Jake One. Around the time I did that song, I did “Glow.” I sent both those records to Jake, and Jake had told me that Little Brother had used the beat to that “Dream” cut, so I couldn’t use that for The Preface. I thought it was a dope concept, and I didn’t want to put it to rest. So when I heard the perfect beat that Black put down for it, I combined the first two verses and put down a brand new verse for it. that song ended up becoming “Talking In My Sleep.”

I’m critical, I try to take it to another level, and I give myself options. I’ll say, ‘That’s dope, but let me come with something even doper.’ If I try that out and I’m still feeling the original version I used, I’ll keep the original version. If this version is dope and I go with the new one, I’ll choose that over the original version. It’s just me trying to make the best joint that I can possibly make.

2 Comments »

  1. THT says:

    ‘talking in my sleep’ is one of the best hip-hop songs of the last decade. hearing ‘dream’ on the leftovers then and reading here about el’s revision process leaves me even more impressed by his deep respect for the craft of writing.

    http://thehairdryertreatment.tumblr.com/post/46012493/elzhi-talking-in-my-sleep-vs-jorge-luis

    January 6th, 2010 at 11:08 am

  2. Celeste Eash says:

    You still got that Fiya! Hope life is good for you!!

    January 30th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

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