Eligh
Grey Crow


4.5
superb

Review

by Tupik USER (12 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


When the Beastie Boys started to turn themselves away from Punk and towards Hip-Hop, they made the mistake of trying to emulate what black MCs were doing, dressing and acting like they did. They were quickly prompted by Hip-Hop legend Russell Simmons to stop doing so, as he felt that Hip-Hop was about being real, about being yourself. Ever since Def Jam laid down the foundations of modern Hip-Hop, "being real" has been a centerpiece of the culture : You have to express true feelings, and never betray who you really are. Unfortunately "being real" has since seen its meaning steered more towards "selling drugs and being hard" than "being true to yourself" (Which by the way does not mean that you can't be real if you rap about selling drugs), at least in mainstream Hip-Hop, and it is definitely one of the reasons why rap is in such dire straits nowadays.

Thankfully though, this sense of realness as it was first defined can still be found in some artists that have carved a niche for themselves, mostly in underground circuits of Hip-Hop, and it is always refreshing to hear a record where the artist raps about who he really is, what he makes of his life, what are his plans and expectations, his failures and successes. The album I am about to present is one of these albums, but one that does not just content with being "real".

A seasoned vet in the Californian underground Hip-Hop scene as a part of the Living Legends crew, Eligh has experienced his fair share of the street life, notably coping with heroin addiction following the release of 2003's Poltergeist. Now with five years of living clean, Eligh has a lot to tell, and his aim is sharing his growth and gained wisdom with the world.

The result is Grey Crow, an opus which lets you delve into the thoughts, heart and soul of Eligh, taking you on a journey shaped by his struggles and hopes. It is a perfect mix of bright and dark tales, touching on everything from love to death, from pain to happiness and everything in between. Eligh's strong poetical lyrics bring the absolute best out of his experiences, wether they be good or bad, and it is truly moving to hear him rap about his expectations as a future father ("When I'm a Dad") or as a lover ("Love Ov My Life").

Not only is Eligh a terrific poet, but he is also a beast on the mic, with a voice and delivery reminiscent of 90s Outkast-era Andre 3000. This might seem like a bold statement for anyone familiar with the ATLiens' catalog, but Eligh is perfectly capable of holding the comparison with the Southern legend. Though I will not develop on this more as it would not do justice to Eligh's work to simply compare him to other rappers, his technical abilities make him one of the fastest and most accurate MCs of the planet, a title that could have been hold by Andre 3000 in his time. Eligh's flow is always on point, and at times it becomes truly mind-blowing, notably on the magnificent "Wish I Would", where he speeds up his delivery all the while keeping strong meaning to his words, bringing one of the (multiple) high points of the album.

Meaningful well-thought and poetic lyrics, along with outstanding flows, are certainly central aspects of a great rap record, but it can all crumble if the music in itself is not up to par. Eligh handles the production of every song with the exception of two contributions from fellow Living Legends member Elusive, and UK dubstep producer Starkey, and he does so in a remarkable fashion. Grey Crow is composed of relaxed and atmospheric beats, held by anything ranging from soothing synths, piano melodies and horns. While being quite varied, the production is also very cohesive, and it truly fulfills its role as a means of travel throughout the landscapes created by Eligh's poetry. The oft-used term "journey" is here very appropriate, and the album's nearly flawless execution, makes the journey truly compelling. The production matches the rapping and the sung choruses to the perfection, the latter creating nice breaks from the masterful rapping of Eligh and the guests present in Grey Crow.

These guest rappers are all renowned underground artists, and even though they don't really add anything outstanding to Eligh's tales, they still hold their own next to him and bring a nice feeling to the songs in which they contribute, though not really pushing any boundaries. On the contrary, the singing guests are extremely good additions, and the singers in the choruses, whether it be Marty James in the synth-heavy album closer "Suffocate" or Inspired Flight in the aforementioned "Wish I Would", are top-notch performers. Choruses are as a matter of fact one of the stronger points of the album, as even Eligh can sing some nice, relaxing and heartfelt tunes that can stick in your head for a while.

Grey Crow is Eligh's therapy, a "real" record as Hip-Hop albums are meant to be, an opus anyone and everyone can relate to, and a defining masterpiece of the underground Hip-Hop scene in recent memory.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tupik
June 2nd 2011


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Actual tracklisting does not include the instrumentals, so it goes like this :

1. Sad Of Eye (Intro)
2. Angel Of Death
03. Soul On The Road
04. Love Ov My Life (Feat. Luckyiam PSC & Paris Hayes)
05. Find Yourself
06. When I’m A Dad
07. Wish I Would (Feat. Inspired Flight)
08. Miss Busdriver (Rachel)
09. Shine (Feat. K-Flay & The Grouch)
10. Stuck With You (Feat. Aesop Rock)
11. Desire (Feat. Inspired Flight)
12. Skitzo (Feat. Rifleman Aka Ellay Khule & Basik)
13. Whirlwind (Feat. Pigeon John)
14. Wake Up! (Feat. Brother Ali & Lisa Ahlstrom)
15. Beneath The Sea (Feat. Zumbi (Of Zion I) & Scarub)
16. Maybe So
17. Suffocate (Feat. Marty James, Paul Datah & Lisa Ahlstrom)



This is close to a 5, one of the best releases from last year. Criticism is appreciated

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 2nd 2011


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dont think it was that good, but decent. i dont like his flow

daIceman
June 2nd 2011


401 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Nice review bro, positive vote from me...
and one rec. Eligh ft. The Grouch - Say G&E! (2009) is also maginificent

Eligh is also on point and i feel his flow more then tonedeff (I comparing these two cause they both have very fast flow)


daIceman
June 2nd 2011


401 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

its your opinion kingsoby1 and i respect that, but I dissagree this LP is like gift from hiphop gods

Tupik
June 2nd 2011


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks daIceman.

I've been meaning to check out the Grouch & Eligh for quite some time now, I'll try to get on it soon.

Bassist540
June 4th 2011


373 Comments


Good review Tupik. I'll have to check him out.

BiOZed
June 12th 2011


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yaman !

Tupik
August 29th 2011


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bumping this because it needs to be heard : this is the shit

snoopdogg6969
August 29th 2012


419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You give the Doctors Advocate 3.5 and this 4.5?

Tupik
September 2nd 2012


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm surprised I have it as a 3.5, it's certainly as close to a 4 as it gets. But yeah this is way
better than anything Game has ever done.

snoopdogg6969
September 10th 2012


419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

while i dunno about it bein "way better than anything game has ever done" this is a really dope album, definitely at least a 4 for me at this point and I have only heard the songs 0-3 times. whats yalls favorite song?

snoopdogg6969
September 10th 2012


419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

seriously good review though. damn im glad i read this or i woulda not given this album a chance

Panzerchrist
October 15th 2012


125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This one took a while to grow on me, but it was well worth the effort. Good review. You really nailed
what made this album so especially awesome.

Tupik
October 17th 2012


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So many great songs, it's tough to choose which one is the best. Deep in the Sea is the bomn, Miss Busdriver probably had the best chorus, Love ov my life is pure awesomeness, Suffocate had an incredible beat. It's really an album I enjoy as a whole, so I couldn't just pick out one song.

I'm glab people are listening to this, spread the world folks.

OT: @snoop, I'm not hating on Game at all, he's one of the first rappers I got heavily into, so I love what he does. But this is just much better than any album Game has done (I'm comparing album to album, obviously Game had some songs that are outstanding and on the same level as this). I bumped Doctor's Advocate every single day when it dropped. Just setting the record straight ;)

AstroTravellin
January 25th 2013


9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I can honestly say that this is my favorite hip-hop cd to date, and holds a special place in my heart. As a recovering heroin addict I can relate to every song 100% and completely understand where Eligh is coming from. Eligh spits positivity which is almost unheard of in the hip-hop scene. Shit's dope!

Tupik
February 21st 2013


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But... what am I going to do in my free time now ?

Havey
March 9th 2013


9684 Comments


I've heard Enigma, it was good but there's no way this is a 5

Tupik
April 2nd 2013


672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Especially Zumbi from Zion I, he kills it

Gyromania
May 29th 2013


15712 Comments


totally missed the boat but i'm loving this atm

Gyromania
June 27th 2013


15712 Comments


shine is so good



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