It takes a special kind of rapper to 1) have the audacity to remake Illmatic and 2) get people to admit that it was actually really, really good.
Although 2011's Elmatic was the rapper's introduction to most people outside of Michigan, his credentials in Detroit run deep.
He remained a member of Slum Village from 2002 to 2010 before leaving to dedicate his time to a solo career. By this point, he had fostered working relationships with Detroit heavyweights like Guilty Simpson, Royce da 5'9", and Danny Brown.
He released one more solo album five years after Elmatic and a collaborative project with North Carolina producer Khrysis under the name Jericho Jackson in 2018.
It seems the years off have taken no toll on his lyrical dexterity and affinity for introspective bars. He returns with his fourth solo offering and first release in two years, Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up, in which he waxes poetic about perseverance and reflecting on his career and life.
You can listen to Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up on all streaming services now.
1. Foolish Intro
2. Smoke & Mirrors (feat. Monica Blaire)
3. EarlyBird Nightowl
4. Hot Winter Cold Summer
5. Light One Write One
7. Guns & Boats (feat. Fes Roc)
8. THUGGed Out Zombies
10. G.O.D. (feat. Monica Blaire)
11. Master Class