In an era of rap often lacking originality, Elias Strategos, part of the FTP Worldwide Records group, is determined to carve his own foundation in the game, by dropping quality projects that deal in honesty and real-life situations, relatable to the listener. There may not be a better indicator of the rapper’s readiness and love for forthright introspection, than on his EP, “Righteous Imperfection”. The artist, from Lithia Springs GA, makes no bones about the fact that he fought against adversity and through Gods redemptive grace, defied the odds to become the man he is today. Clearly an artist who has no fear of unveiling painful truths, trials and tribulations, Elias Strategos delivers 5 personal, hard hitting tracks that will leave many so-called legends, withering in shame, with his vivid storytelling and top-tier technical deliveries.
The combination, on , “Righteous Imperfection”, of creative, atmospheric production, and impacting themes, which constantly shift between street level realism and heartfelt spiritualism, is highly effective.All throughout, Elias Strategos shines brightly, with his high energy and unrelenting wordplay. The EP offers many moments of vulnerability, but never sacrifices energy to convey its message. Whatever you think of the debate between rap styles, there’s no denying the lyrical power of Elias Strategos.
For Elias, that lyrical power most often comes in the form of vivid storytelling, which here is truly cinema-like. His voice weaves a nuanced epic, on “Enemies”, as he spits prophetically: “The lion ain’t dead, I just left the jungle.” Elias shows the spiritual maturity to acknowledge the good impact the Lord can have in our lives despite the wrongs, and that there should always be room for forgiveness and reconciliation.
This type of wisdom is why lyrical rappers like Elias Strategos must have a place in the game, despite the new wave of mumblers currently dominating the industry. The bass-booming drive, and skittering hi-hats of “Tik Tok”, certify that Elias is totally in sync with the sonics of modern rap, while continuing to deliver extraordinary lyricism and storytelling.
The middle of the project, with “Mellow”, offers some of the best rap music I’ve heard all year. Elias Strategos captures listeners with his hard knocking poetic flow, holding his voice front and center of the mix.
“Pushing” sounds focused and passionate, the production is soulful, and we’re truly getting Elias at his most personal. The poetic rhyming is of the highest caliber, and hip-hop heads will find plenty to chew on.
From the moment Elias enters the track, until the end, he is just straight up awesome. He closes the project with “Bankhead”, offering yet another barrage of labyrinthine wordplay. These bars reflect Elias Strategos emphasis on craft and developing skills.
For the most part “Righteous Imperfection” will lodge in your mind, as a masterfully narrated journey through Elias Strategos’ psyche – past and present. Yet, at the same time, it is almost like an invite to listeners to meet their own inner demons and find out exactly where they came from, and more importantly, where they’re headed. Respect is absolutely due for this release.