“5 ELA …will be televised” Release : Detroit Hip Hop gets another feather in its Takeover Cap

5ela_album_mixtape_copy150*5 ELA is back on the block, bringing that raw Detroit Hip Hop flavor with some classic Hip Hop Shop vibes and new “Michigan Avenue” sounds with their first album in [9] years, “…will be televised,” featuring 9th WONDER, NICK SPEED, and BIG TONE behind the beats, and guest appearances from FINALE (warning: this guy can rip the freakin mic in half), BAATIN of Slum Village, and the rising MC MARCELLUS. After a decade-long hiatus, and the loss of 1 MC, PROOF, and 1 producer, DILLA, 5 Elementz MEANS it when they say there is a 2nd Wave of Detroit Hip Hop about to storm the planet!

11.14.08 marked the official preview party for the forthcoming “5 ELA …will be televised” self-produced, full-length album from the re-formed original Detroit collective 5 Elementz, now 5 ELA. The mixtape CD is mixed by 5 ELA’s DJ Sicari and includes 6 of the tracks from the new album, as well as a few 5 Elementz classics, and 2 unreleased cuts, including “DoWhatTheyWanna” produced by the late 5 Elementz producer, J Dilla. Yet to be released songs on the full LP include productions from rising beatmakers BLACK MILK and New Orleans’ JAY ELECTRONICA, as well as choice thumps from 3 other Detroit producers, RENO WESLEY, DENMARK VESSEY, and BEE LEE, not to mention some great guest MC spots from Invincible and Ta’Raach of PPP and The Lovelution, among others, in the works.

Thyme + Mudd + Sicari = 5 ELA

Thyme + Mudd + Sicari = 5 ELA

The preview release party @ the Elements Gallery (ironically, the name of the venue was similar to the name of the group) last weekend was off the chain, and Fusicology was there to revel in all its splendor.  <<<peep the photos on our Flickr page!>>> Roll call at this intimate underground spot was bananas – Dwele, DJ Dez, members of Slum Village, cats from both UR and Planet e were in the building, and of course all the dope artists that were on the bill.  Real right.  After the sick live performances, DJs Sicari & Ta’Raach spun a killer dance party into wee hours.  Yes, indeed. [more Fusicology event photos]


The mixtape CD released on the 14th is to serve as just a taste of the full project to come… something that has been in the works now for the past 2 years.  The full album is due out early spring of 2009, and the group says we can expect some tour dates then.


So far, the anthem has been decided, and that is the title track “5 Elementz” – a powerful banger by Big Tone which will soon be heard thumping in rides all over, we’re quite sure.  The radio prodigy we see coming is also another Big Tone joint that features MC/Soul singer, Marcellus, and is sure to get the ladies in a tizzy – “I Don’t Mind.” But lookout for “Still In Love” too, because 9th Wonder isn’t playin on this one either, and once again Marcellus swoons the chicas alongside Mudd & Thyme.  Yet, the album is not without a steady stream of serious socio-political commentary, as “PIPEBOMB!!!”, “Detroit State of Mind,” and “Hater City” do not beat around the bush on controversial topics about the inside of the Detroit scene. School is most definitely in session, yo!

But this is not just another release.  This project is a solid effort being put forth by some Detroit Hip Hop originals, jaded and disuaded by the game for several years, attempting to re-unify not only Detroit Hip Hop, but Detroit as a whole.  Not only will you see guest appearances and collaboartions by just about every single Hip Hop artist on the forthcoming 5E album, but swaps on everyone else’s projects as well.  Not to mention some nice surprises in store for those that love some nice Techno remixes of Hip Hop tunes, or House or Broken Beat or even Rock versions of some new cuts.  Yep, there is a movement happening people…. Detroit is about to take over once again.



Now we all know that Dilla’s death spawned a whole craze of all-ears-on-Detroit, as well as the the loss of Proof shortly thereafter.  And now, you just can’t help but notice that Detroit seems to be turning out one solid artist after another right now… like bam! bam! bam!  Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Slum Village and PPP already in the ranks… everywhere you turn, there’s another Detroiter changing the game.

Lookout Def Jam, watch out Bad Boy… Detroit is baaaaaack!

Just imagine what’s gonna happen when this whole cadre of Detroit Hip Hop cats get together with the Godfathers of Techno (like Nick Speed & Danny Brown already have with Juan Atkins), some elder Jazz greats, and a few of the rising Soul singers like Dwele, Doc Holiday, Monica Blaire, L’Renee, Neco Redd, Sky Covington aka Nikki O…?  I believe one calls that a “takeover.”



So who is 5 ELA you say?  Good question.  5 Elementz was the core group of MCs and producers that ran around the legendary Detroit Hip Hop Shop on W. 7 Mile Rd. during the early ’90s.  Though many had side-projects and sub-groups, 5 Elementz contained, and one time or another, the large percentage of the Motor City’s prominent Hip Hop artists, both ones you know, and ones you will soon know.  And the Hip Hop Shop was the lab.  Known for their rotating assembly of quality MCs, producers, and vocalists during the OG days, 5 ELA’s mission is once again to collaborate with everyone and take the whole of the D with them to the next level.  You’ve heard the stories about Eminem, you’ve seen “8 Mile”... now its time for the real deal.

5 Elementz on 7 Mile Back in the Day - JayDee givin the 5 Fingaz!

5 Elementz on 7 Mile Back in the Day - JayDee givin the 5 Fingaz!

>>> Lookout for 2 films out soon:  “7 Mile Movie” and a yet-to-be-released doc on the Detroit Hip Hop scene.  Snagging the recently-released DVD of “Murder City: Detroit, 100 Years of Crime and Violence” might be a good idea too.  Though this aspect of the city was not the sole factor shaping Detroit’s Hip Hop sound and scene, it provides a decent back-drop for the larger environment that contributed to forming the Detroit Sound.

Core 5 ELA MCs, Mudd and Thyme, have re-formed their group for the new millenium with several friends and artists that routinely worked with them during the early 1990s at the legendary Detroit Hip Hop Shop on 7 Mile Rd, as well as a few rising artists both from Detroit and beyond. When asked what inspired this newly found resurgence of energy to produce and promote quality Hip Hop again in Detroit, 5 ELA cited the loss of two of their good friends and partners, the late Proof and Dilla. Mudd and Thyme note that they had been discouraged over the course of the late 1990s and in recent years given the state of so many people moving out of Detroit and the Hip Hop scene’s changing. However, now they feel they have re-bonded with both old colleagues and new spirits, and are on a mission to make sure that Proof and Dilla’s footprints in Hip Hop are not in vain.

So, all that said… keep your ear to the street, because Motown is shooting some moves.


> 5 ELA Interview on The Eminem Blog here.

> 5 ELA OG demo track w/Slum Village on T3’s Night Gallery Blog here.

> 5 ELA feature on RenaissanceSoulDetroit here.

> 5 ELA reviewed on The Examiner here.

*5 ELA on MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/5ela

—Jocelyne Ninneman ( J$ ) for Fusicology


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