Perhaps no figure has been more influential on the sound of underground hip-hop over the past 15 years than El-P (aka El Producto/Jaime Meline). The Brooklyn rapper/producer has had a hand in some of the most important underground albums of his era, from his former outfit Company Flow’s ground-breaking LP Funcrusher Plus, to his equally awesome and dense solo début Fantastic Damage, to his production work on Cannibal Ox’s classic The Cold Vein and Killer Mike’s brand new classic R.A.P. Music, to the establishment of his indie label Def Jux which housed an impressive roster of underground heroes, including Aesop Rock, Camu Tao, RJD2, Mr. Lif and Cage. We last heard from El-P five years ago with his second proper solo LP, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, and now the ever progressive and unapologetically ambitious indie-rap icon is back with a new LP, Cancer For Cure, out May 22. The album features a host of new, non-Def Jux collaborators following the 2010 demise of the label, but more importantly it features El in monstrous, badass form throughout. ‘The Full Retard’, the LP’s first single, instantly establishes itself as a banging new skronk-rap classic; ‘Tougher Colder Killer’, which features Killer Mike and Despot, is just as hard and awesome as anything on R.A.P. Music; ‘Oh Hail No’ features fiery guest verses from new generation emcees Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire and Danny Brown; ‘Stay Down’, which features Islands’ Nick Diamonds, was recently given a surprising and blazing outing on the Late Show with David Letterman, leaving the host understandably baffled. Cancer For Cure is trailblazing, futurist hip-hop of the highest calibre, and between this and his masterful production work on R.A.P. Music, El-P has quickly become the hip-hop MVP of 2012, with the top two albums of the genre under his belt.
Stream Cancer For Cure below (via Rolling Stone).
Watch El-P perform ‘Stay Down’ ft. Islands’ Nick Diamonds on the Late Show with David Letterman below.