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review // elias // scraps of paper

For the longest time Elias had been known as one of the best emcees to never have released an album. Even though he had never released an album, he was always making guest appearances on other artists' albums or you'd find his tracks on one of the numerous compilations that are released each year. But now, in 2004, that title has been lifted; Elias presents us with his first independent release, Scraps of Paper .

From the outset, this is not your typical hip-hop album, as it shouldn't be, because Elias isn't your typical hip-hop artist. Unlike many of the today's artists that stick to one particular style or have very limited subject matter, Elias is one of those emcees that walks to the beat of his own drum and explores the depths of his creativity. On almost every track, he presents a different side of himself as it's expresses through both his rhyme scheme and choice of production. As a socially conscious emcee, Elias is even able to interject his own social and political thoughts into his rhymes.

Like scraps of paper from a journal, each song offers a glimpse into the mind of Elias and where he is at different points in his life. An example of this can be seen in the track “Sunday Morning Comin Home;” this song describes the feelings of Elias as he is bringing his daughter home from the hospital after being born. Another track, “2 Worlds,” speaks of Elias' upbringing in the inner city environment of Los Angeles being both white and a Christian. This track speaks strongly of his personal experiences as he worked hard to make the best choices throughout his life; the emotion bleeds through on this track as you can't help but to feel the pain of which Elias speaks.

Just like his subject matter sets him apart from everyone, Elias also blends soulful singing with his thought provoking lyricism, which propels him to a category of his own. Elias uses his singing to perfection; each time he sings it enhances the song and takes it to another level. You capture this feeling from the very beginning with the track “Everything;” after that, you're pulled into the world of Elias and he doesn't loosen his hold until you reach the end of the album. One of those songs where Elias captures you with his singing is “Despair;” here, he speaks of the feelings that come from disappointment and broken dreams and how we should lean & call on God when these circumstances overtake our lives.

hat's good? Everything about this album is good; matter of fact, this album is great. Elias seems to still be rough around the edges a little bit with his sound, but he definitely has the potential to become something great. The strong lyricism captures you and speaks life into your spirit; you can't help but feel different after listening to this album. His thoughts and ideas are what influence him to write, and music is what inspires him to make songs. You should definitely pick up this album as it's one of the best of the year; don't sleep on it.

Suggested Listening: Scribbling Idiots “JustMe & Cas Metah”, Kaboose “Innersection”, Braille “Shades of Grey”

Key Tracks: Everything”, “Flowers for Algernon”, “Sunday Morning Comin Home”

Review Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Reviewer: Trailblaza


Used with permission from www.HipHopForTheSoul.com


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