Will Sessions – Memory Lane
One of the smart moves of Elzhi’s impressive ‘Elmatic,’ his critically acclaimed ‘Illmatic‘ tribute album, was not using the Illmatic instrumentals. Instead, he collaborated with the Will Sessions band who recreated the instrumentals from scratch. The project knew many delays, but this decision turned out to be a real blessing, as Elzhi pointed out in our interview with him earlier this year.
What got in the way was that people was telling me that there was other people doing tributes to Illmatic. I felt like, you know, I wasn’t gonna go through with it. But I had people like DJ House Shoes that were pushing me to go through with it. I reached out to Will Sessions and they was down with it, and the rest is history. Will Sessions is a band based out of Detroit, and they’re known for playing funk music.
Those cover versions were received so well that Fat Beats will be releasing them as a separate album soon.
Elmatic had been initially planned and announced in 2008 as a tribute to the historic 1994 album Illmatic by Nas, but it wasn’t until early 2011 that Elzhi and his manager Jae Barber agreed that it would be best to recreate all of the beats from scratch–and there was clearly nobody who could do it better than producer Sam Beaubien and Will Sessions. Since it’s widely considered to be the holy grail of hip hop recordings, the prospect of duplicating the music from Illmatic was daunting. By using the original sample sources of the album’s tracks as a foundation, producer Beaubien and the band members managed to recreate both the sound and the mood of the classic album with stunning precision on Elmatic, exceeding lofty expectations set by loyal fans and skeptical critics alike.
You can either pick it up as a 180 gram 12″ slab of vinyl (including a free digital copy) or a CD when September 27th rolls along.