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Detroit rapper Elzhi solidifying his solo position

for Journal Register Newspapers

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After taking his leave from Slum Village in 2010, Detroit rapper Elzhi has been working to solidify his credentials as a solo artists. And in the midst of a world tour, he's pleased to say it's working.

"It's pretty good, man," notes Elzhi (real name Jason Powers), 33. "The last show I did was in Toronto and it was at a festival and it was amazing. I had people of all ages. There was this old lady in the audience vibing to the music. It was pretty dope."

Elzhi says that thanks to "a proper team" in management and marketing he's moving forward with confidence. His 2011 "Elmatic" album, a tribute to Nas' landmark "Illmatic" was well-received, and he's currently "in the final stages" of a new album, which he's been recording in Detroit and California and hopes to drop this year -- though Elzhi has released a new track called "Blue Widow" and plans to put out a few more teasers before the album's release.

And while Slum Village is in his past, somewhat acrimoniously, Elzhi says he's still proud of the work he did with the group.

"I'm happy to say I'm done with all that and ready to move on to the next chapter," he explains, "but I'm happy to say I was apart of something legendary like that. Slum Village is loved all over, not just in Detroit. I was a Slum fan before the world even got a chance to hear Slum, so I'll always carry that legacy with me and give the fans a part of that when I perform on stage."

Elzhi, Marv Won and Ro Spit perform Saturday, July 21, at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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