Elias Scraps of Paper

Although Scraps of Paper may be his debut, Elias has made numerous compilation appearances and worked with the likes of Luke Geraty, Noah 23, Id Obelus, and the UK's Noitall. Right from the outset, with opening track "Everything," it's obvious this isn't your typical rap album. Elias is a rapper with a confident, soulful singing voice that stands out amongst those rappers who occasionally break into song. In fact, he sounds just as natural singing as he does rapping. It's also a nice change to see an MC that relies on well-crafted lyrics rather than slow, depressing productions to evoke emotion. There may be a lot of hype and up-tempo beats, but Elias still touches on meaningful topics that range from growing up a white Christian in inner-city Los Angeles ("2 Worlds"), to the birth of his daughter ("Sunday Morning Comin Home"), to a plea for non-conformity ("Color Outside the Lines"), as well as many instances of his struggle to live right in a society where it's more often easier to do the wrong thing. Scraps of Paper is one of those rare hip-hop albums that will appeal to a wide cross-section of fans, and deserves it. (Independent)