Release Date: Mar 20, 2007
Record label: Definitive Jux
Genre(s): Indie, Rap
With even commercial rap's fortunes on the decline during 2007 and Rjd2 going indie rock, the rap underground must have seemed like a lonely place to El-P. Perfect time for a community album featuring contributions from most of the Definitive Jux community as well as some expertly fitted outsiders (the Mars Volta, Nine Inch Nails, even Cat Power). As a producer, El-P's only gotten better since Fantastic Damage.
There is no denying the role played by Jamie Meline in hip-hop history. As El-P, a founder member of the group Company Flow, he helped create the New York independent hip-hop scene of the 1990s, and since the band split he has stuck to his guns. His label, Definitive Jux, is known for putting out serious-minded hip-hop, and this second solo album finds El-P once again carpet-bombing a series of abrasive and rattlingly nonconformist tracks with densely packed parcels of syllabic invective.
As El-P has become an entrenched presence in hip hop and pop more generally, it has likewise become harder for listeners to defend him as an underground or outsider artist. He is, rather, a consummate inside player — or at least an insider in the ’tweener genre that is “indie” hip hop, a categorical hull stretching to include those rappers and producers not quite afloat on the tides of mainstream culture, but also unmoored from the harbors of obscurity. So the story goes for many an artist who came of age in the pasture that was the 1990s' underground hip-hop scene.