One of the most respected MCs out of Detroit and one-third of Slum Village, eLZhi lives up to the hype on his proper solo debut, The Preface. With a knack for wordplay, clever concepts, and a breathless delivery, eLZhi has skills that many MCs lack. On “Guessing Game,” he spits incomplete bars, testing listeners to finish the line before he does. The Preface is produced almost entirely by Detroit luminary Black Milk, whose crafty beat work evokes the ghost of Dilla with heavy bass and slapping snares. The disc is further enhanced by guest verses from Detroiters Royce Da 5’9”, Guilty Simpson, and Phat Kat, and makes for a worthy contender for hip-hop album of the year.