El-P Videos

El-P – Time Won’t Tell video


directed by shan nichols

El-P Videos

El-P – Lab Rat Bravely Escapes on Hovercraft Only To Crash Directly Outside Of Gates video

El-P – Lab Rat Bravely Escapes on Hovercraft Only To Crash Directly Outside Of Gates video

fan made video by director/editor F/22 , Founder & Project Manager of The Farmers Block.

F/22 says “The concept for the video is to show how science is always in cahoots with nature, and to orchestrate the visuals parallel to the music.”

El-P Media

El-P Releases Exclusive Chin Chin Remix via Twitter

El-P Releases Exclusive Chin Chin Remix via Twitter

It’s no secret that Def Jux head honcho and indie rapper extraordinaire El-P is a huge fan of Brooklyn funk group Chin Chin. They are, after all, on his label and have served as a backing band of sorts to El’s live shows. Just hours ago El-P took to his Twitter, asking followers to vote for the band’s “Go There With You” video on MTVu’s The Freshman Countdown and rewarding them with an as yet unheard remix of the band’s “GG and the Boys”. The video features El-P and Chin Chin in an elaborate slow dance special that Dancing with the Stars can only aspire to. Check it out below and get voting!

Follow El-P on Twitter:

Vote For Chin Chin’s “Go There With You” On MTVu’s Freshman Countdown

Listen to El-P’s remix of “GG and the Boys

El-P Press Releases


Evil Nine – They Live!

Evil Nine - They Live!

(yes, all yours to enjoy on this creepy hallows eve, be sure to take this to the party, muahahahahaha!)

What do Hoodies (hoodlums), kebabs, chavs and England have in common?

…Evil Nine and “All The Cash” video featuring El-P.

They Live! – COMING SOON
1 Feed on you
2 The Wait Ft. David Autokratz
3 All the Cash Ft. El-P
4 They Live!
5 Ngempa Guzom
6 How Do We Stop the Normals?
7 Dead Man Coming Ft. Toastie Taylor
8 Set It Off Ft. Beans (Anti-Pop Consortium)
9 Behemoth
10 Born Again
11 Twist the Knife Ft. Emily Breeze
12 Luke Goss
13 Icicles Ft. Seraphim


Don’t be surprised if Brighton based Evil Nine and their forthcoming album They Live! does for zombies what Daft Punk did for robots. With stomping electro drums, ‘80s Italian horror-movie synths, dirty punk basslines, and a wanton disregard for genre rules, the infamously subversive dance/electronic duo create an unstoppable soundtrack for the new virtual zombie revolution.

The title track (and first single) They Live! pays irreverent homage to cult director John Carpenter’s classic 1988 sci-fi ghoulfest They Live with its ultra-catchy vocoder chorus (“They walk, they lie, they love, they live!/They wake, they fall, they cry, they live!/They fight, they fail, they die, they live!”). “We love that film and the weird, crunchy, stripped-down analog-electronic scores John Carpenter creates,” Beaufoy says. “I’ve had a massive fascination with zombie films since I was a teenager,” Pardy adds, which probably explains why they also recruited cult artist Dan Mumford (known for his infamous sicko album art for Gallows and other punk/metal classics) to create the gory horror-show like album art for this particular album.

The album itself features a number of surprising collaborations, foremost is Def Jux’s radical mastermind El-P, whose brutal spitting transforms the apocalyptic slammer “All The Cash.”

We hooked up with him after our DJ set at Coachella last year and really got along,” Pardy says. “If there was one rapper we wanted to work with, it’s El-P. And he was up for something different: I don’t think he’s much of a dance-music fan, but he’s very open-minded musically.” Elsewhere, Beans (of Anti-Pop Consortium) turns “Set It Off” into a Goth-meets-hip-house burner, while David, vocalist of Kitsuné buzz band Autokratz, adds melodic New Wave melancholy to “The Wait.” “I’m not sure what David’s singing about,” Beaufoy admits. “I think it’s about getting laid after a gig and trying to slip away quietly to avoiding any awkwardness.” Additionally Seraphim (from Brooklyn indie-electro seditionaries No Surrender) and Bristol scenester Emily Breeze also make crucial cameos. “To us, Emily’s the female Danzig,” Pardy explains. “It was great having her make ballsy punk-rock-chick noise over us pretending to be a rock band. We always like to push people to do something completely new.”

Creating this army of like-minded iconoclasts is all part of Evil Nine’s plan to confound expectations. To that end, They Live! features pounding tracks that will work in any club, but filtered through unexpected influences spanning ‘80s cock rock, The Cure, early Prince, krautrockers Cluster, Can and Tangerine Dream, vintage noise punkers Suicide and Black Flag, and newer sonic saboteurs TV On The Radio and Queens of the Stone Age. As such, “Behemoth” welds Timbaland rhythms to Black Sabbath heaviness; “Feed On You” comes out somewhere between Beverly Hills Cop and a phantom death march; “Dead Man Coming” loops soundtrack composer/Goblin member Fabio Frizzi’s theme from Zombie Flesh Eaters with ragga rudeness courtesy Toastie Taylor of U.K. rap crew New Flesh; “The Wait,” meanwhile, incorporates the experiments of Paul Lansky, the early synth pioneer whom Radiohead sampled on “Idioteque.” “He’s a mad Princeton professor who experiments with strange noises,” Beaufoy explains. “We’re obsessed,” Pardy says. “We can usually find something positive and inspiring about most of the music out there, we then fuck it up and twist it into our own thing.” Equally individual will be Evil Nine’s kinetic new live show: it features Pardy and Beaufoy singing and playing dueling bass guitars, synthesizers, samples onstage, an actual human drummer, fittingly spooky visual phantasmagoria along with group’s new full-length They Live!—a worthy successor to their 2005 album debut You Can Be Special Too, one of the most acclaimed electronic albums in recent memory.

TRACKS from They Live! broken down track by track by the lads themselves.

1 Feed on you
Pat: this song was the last we wrote for the album and it was destined to be the opener, it’s somewhere between a zombie death march and miami vice incidental music. go figure!

2 The Wait Ft. David Autokratz
Tom: we did a million versions of this track but when we added a sample of paul lansky’s crazy noises , thats when it came into its own . melancholy but strangely uplifting with dave going on about girls and being on the road, at least i think thats what he’s on about .

3 All the Cash Ft. El-P
p: if there was one rapper we really wanted to hook-up with on the album it was el-p and to our surprise it actually happened. he kills it as usual over our epic, brooding drone-rock stomp….

4 They Live!
t : featuring the vocal talents of pardytron , they live tells us about all the things ” they ” get up to in a roboty voice backed with beats as heavy as an elephant or a small bus .

5 Ngempa Guzom
p: have you ever wondered what zombie choirs mixed with a crunked-out john carpenter rip-off sounds like? No? neither have we but we created it anyway and named it after a bhutanese public holiday called ‘the meeting of nine evils’, we also spelt it wrong.

6 How Do We Stop the Normals?
t: for those heads down lost in music moments on the dancefloor . its all techno wiggles and jan hammer moments twinned with a super triumphant breakdown . roll up the sleeves on your suit and miami vice it up .

7 Dead Man Coming Ft. Toastie Taylor
p: fabio frizzi’s soundtrack to ‘zombie flesh eaters’ is one our favorite’s so we sampled it and stuck our buddy toastie taylor over the top for good measure. gruff, moody, hopeful…… emotional!

Set It Off Ft. Beans (Anti-Pop Consortium)
t: this could be the soundtrack to the bit in the film where the goodie walks into the vampire/zombie/alien nightclub and all the the baddies are dancing away and that . except normally the music in those bits is really shit and this is good ! its beans , of anti pop consortium on the mic ; setting it off .

9 Behemoth
p: im not sure where this one came from really, its probably the darkest piece of music we’ve ever written. it’s got that zombie death march thing again but this time we didn’t hold back on the death, epic as fuck!

10 Born Again
t : a moment of calm before the storm . a melody played on kazoos or bees turns into a miniature prog rock epic with pardytron singin his roboty heart out .

11 Twist the Knife Ft. Emily Breeze
p: it’s all lipstick, neon lights, fast cars and us pretending we’re in a rock band on this one. emily breeze is a fucking punk rock goddess, the reincarnation of glenn danzig except that doesn’t make sense because glenn danzig isn’t dead.

12 Luke Goss
t : nihilistic , antisocial , unrelenting , luke goss unsubtley smashes up the place like a monster truck derby in a china shop . its also contains our tribute to sonic youth with a wailing wall of feedback section . yikes !

13 Icicles Ft. Seraphim
p: we wrote this specifically to be the last track on the album, the epic last song, the emotional goodbye and thats just what it is. seraphim’s sweet, heartfelt vocal just pushes the point even further…….. goodbye!

“They” are Evil Nine, who are back from the dead with the release of their much-anticipated new album, They Live!, due out in January 2009 on Marine Parade.

Aesop Rock El-P Videos

Aesop Rock reveal his plans for an upcoming Weathermen album and tour. Weathermen is a super group that includes Aesop Rock and El-P among others.

Aesop Rock reveal his plans for an upcoming Weathermen album and tour. Weathermen is a super group that includes Aesop Rock and El-P among others.

Dizzee Rascal El-P Press Releases

Dizzee Rascal Brings Grime Stateside, Tours with El-P

Dizzee Rascal Brings “Grime” Stateside, Tours with El-P

Dizzee Rascal’s “Where’s Da G’s” featuring Bun B. is already blowing up on the internet, weeks before the stateside release of the British MC’s third full length, Math’s + English, out April 29th via Definitive Jux. The album first hit shelves last year in the UK to a Mercury Music Prize nomination (think the UK’s equivalent of independent music Grammys) and rave reviews from popular British press UNCUT, Mojo Magazine, and more. The US version will include several bonus tracks both digitally and physically, including tracks exclusive to iTunes, eMusic, and Amazon’s digital store.

Dizzee Rascal has been turning heads on both sides of the pond since his 2003 debut album, Boy in Da Corner (which did snag the Mercury Music Prize that year and is lauded as the launching point for the UK grime scene). Since then he’s released a second critically acclaimed album, popped up on a remix of T-Pain’s hit single “I’m Sprung,” held it down with Wyclef Jean, Twista, and Lil Mama on BET’s Cipher for the 2007 Hip Hop Awards, and shared the stage with Bun B, Del the Funky Homosapien, Devin the Dude, and El-P at this year’s SXSW Music Conference. Recently he’s been feverishly showing off his skills with a four minute freestyle on AOL Music and schooling the uninitiated on British slang in anticipation of Maths + English’s U.S. release and an impending tour with labelmate El-P.

See below for full tour dates and audio/video links to “Where’s Da G’s,” Dizzee’s 16 Bars freestyle, and his hip-hop slang lessons on AOL Music.

Listen to Dizzee Rascal “Where’s Da G’s” feat. Bun B from Maths + English (Definitive Jux)

Watch Dizzee Rascal “Where’s Da G’s” feat. Bun B from Maths + English (Definitive Jux)

What the Press is Saying

Dizzee’s despairing wail, focused anger, and cutting sonics places him on the front lines in the battle against a stultifying Britain, just as Pete Townshend, Johnny Rotten, and Morrissey have been in the past. – Pitchfork Media

The best rapper this(The UK) country’s ever produced, period…. Next to Dizzee Rascal everybody looks pale, uninteresting and irrelevant. – UNCUT Magazine

An eclectic, break-dance-worthy Slick Rick reincarnation. – Entertainment Weekly

Brilliantly original. – MOJO

Dizzee Rascal delivered forty minutes of blistering, grimy hip-hop. The set drew heavily from his latest, Maths + English (finally seeing a physical U.S. release April 29 after being out in the U.K. for nearly a year) – Rollingstone Magazine (on 2008 SXSW performance)

Fans were treated to a talented MC with a crew who likes shout-outs and shoes. His set drew as much from excellent early material as it did from Maths + English, and the high-BPM beats kept the show flowing and energetic. – Pitchfork Media (on 2008 SXSW performance)

This U.K. rapper is the reason anyone knows “grime” is a music genre. – Wired Magazine

Dizzee Rascal Tour Dates (with El-P)

May 8- 9:30 Club, D.C.
May 9 – First Unitarian Church, Philly
May 10 – Webster Hall, NYC
May 11- Middles East, Boston
May 12 – New Capital Music Hall, Ottawa
May 13 – Crofoot Ballroom, Detroit
May 14 – The Abbey Pub, Chicago
May 16 – Triple Rock Club, Minneapolis
May 19 – Neumos, Seattle
May 20 – Berbatis Pan, Portland
May 21 – 1015, San Francisco
May 22 – El Rey, Los Angeles

El-P Reviews

El-P – Fantastic Damage review

El-Pby Andrew Lunny

It was back in 1997 when Company Flow followed up their ‘Funcrusher’ EP with ‘Funcrusher Plus,’ an album which established Co Flow, Rawkus Records and much of the current underground hip-hop scene. ‘Funcrusher Plus’ wasn’t a perfect album, but for importance it’s almost unrivaled even now. “First is the originator – me” former Co Flow mainman El-P shouts on his long-awaited follow-up ‘Fantastic Damage,’ an album which, like ‘Funcrusher Plus,’ remakes hip-hop in a brutal new image. Under his own Definitive Jux label now instead of Rawkus, El-P has surpassed all previous accomplishments with this brilliant record.

Original Article (extended)

Aesop Rock El-P Reviews

I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead by EL-P album review

El-P coverreview by Todd E. Jones

Theme music for the apocalypse has been provided by El-P. If “apocalyptic hip-hop” was not a term I just created for this article, El-P would be the genre’s father. Originally signed to Rawkus Records with the independent group Company Flow, El-P has risen to mythical heights in the world of underground / independent hip-hop. He is a white emcee/producer from New York who cannot conveniently fit under only one label. He is not a backpack rapper. He is not a religious zealot. He is not a gimmicky wannabe who is exploiting the culture. Simply, El-P is his complicated self. Founder of the now legendary independent record label, Definitive Jux, El Producto has earned his much deserved respect. As a label founder, El-P used Definitive Jux as a vehicle to release dense and high quality albums by C Rayz Walz, Cannibal Ox, The Perceptionists, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, and others. His cacophonic production style is gloriously unique and dramatically powerful. His drums have a juggernaut force and his melodies are lush soundscapes. He has contributed production for albums like “The Cold Vein” by Cannibal Ox, “Black Dialogue” by The Perceptionists, “I Phantom” and “Mo’ Mega” by Mr. Lif, and “Year Of The Beast” by C Rayz Walz. From start to finish, El-P’s “Fantastic Damage” was his challenging and thought-provoking debut solo album. Standout cuts included “Blood”, “Deep Space 9MM”, and “Fantastic Damage.” A true hip-hop producer, El-P also released varied instrumental albums. Released on Thirsty Ear Records, “High Water” showcased his talents by capturing his production skills with jazz band. Released on Definitive Jux, “Collecting The Kid” was a refreshing compilation of tracks from various projects El-P had been working on. “Constellation (Remix)” (featuring Stephanie Vezina) and “Oxycontin” (featuring Camu Tao) were exceptional tracks. Fans were yearning for El-P’s next complete solo album. When people thought El-P could not top “Fantastic Damage”, they were amazed when El-P’s sophomore album surpassed his previous work. “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” is a glorious, intelligent, and powerful album. While the “Fantastic Damage” LP was described as somewhat difficult listening, “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” is exceptionally constructed, instantly entertaining, and intellectually memorable. Hip-hop will never experience another album like “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead”.

“I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” contains multiple tracks of epic proportions. The opening cut, “Tasmanian Pan Coaster” possesses a powerful crescendo and thick bouncing rhythms. El-P’s chorus is a shocking epiphany, “…This is the sound of what you don’t know killing you / This is the sound of what you don’t believe still true / This is that sound of what you don’t want still in you / TPC motherf*cker / Cop a feel or two…” The song features Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta. Mr. Dibbs also contributes turntable cutting to the track. During the song’s conclusion, the use of a distorted guitar intertwined with an operatic vocal sample creates a devastating cinematic sound. “Flyentology” features Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails on vocals. Even people who are sick of Trent Reznor will probably appreciate the song. El-P uses Reznor’s vocals in a very intelligent way. He is careful not to overuse Reznor too. Since the song does not clash with the other tracks, the album’s flow is maintained. The animated music video for “Flyentology” gives the song a complete new dimension while telling a creative and fantastic story. El-P’s view on religion and spirituality is extremely refreshing. “…There are atheists in the foxholes / There is no intellect in the air / There are no scientists on the way down / Just a working example of faith verses physics…” His creativity leaves much to interpretation. The epic conclusion of the album is “Poisonville Kids No Wins”. El-P’s soft spoken, heartfelt delivery is enhanced by the song’s structure. The beat stops and restarts throughout the track, gaining more momentum and power every time. The massively hypnotic chorus is a thick, melodic beat crescendo. Chan Marshall of Cat Power adds poignantly ethereal vocals during the song’s finale, “…Never, ever, ever gonna get that way again…” Cinematically epic, these songs bring hip-hop to creative heights.

The album also includes tracks that are shorter in length but not quality. “Drive” is possibly the most instantly appealing song on the album. For the chorus, a sped-up vocal sample is used before each line. El-P’s verses are wonderfully frustrating. El-P raps, “…I’m not a depressed man / I’m just a f*cking New Yorker / Who knows that sitting in traffic with these bastards is torture…” El-P’s “Drive” is proof that he can create a somewhat catchy yet clever solo track that has the potential to be a single. “Up All Night” is a bouncy, intelligent track with thick, electronic melodies and swirling drum rhythms. In the hook, El-P states that he is not a person to be taken advantage of, “…I see you all regardless / I know what lies are like / I might have been born yesterday, sir / But I stayed up all night…” Another bounce-driven track with a memorable chorus is “Smithereens (Stop Cryin)”. El-P’s quick double-time flow adds a cool diversity to the album. He even adds melody to his hook. “No Kings” is a tight cut which features a deep-voiced Tame-One (formerly of Artifacts). “Run The Numbers” (featuring Aesop Rock) is a catchy track which will have you shouting “Find those detonators!” El-P’s melodic repetition of “Na-na-na-na-na-na-na” makes the song catchy, fun, yet still intelligent. Another powerful track, “The Overly Dramatic Truth” is sexually harsh and insanely aggressive.

Only a handful of songs do not have the same intensity or replay value as the other tracks on the album. “Habeas Corpses (Draconian Love)” is an overdone track with the repeated hook: “I found love on a prison ship.” Cage contributes vocals to the track. Although Cage and El-P work well together, the album’s other songs are more satisfying. The only other somewhat filler track is the short and angry “Dear Sirs”. To call these tracks filler is somewhat unfair because the depth and meaning of each song does shine with creativity.

“I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” displays a major maturation in El-P. His production talents have become extremely unique, but massively emotional. As an emcee, he has begun to master his flow and delivery as well as his cadence. Although “Fantastic Damage” was a solid album, “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” is incredibly tighter and more accessible. The album’s accessibility never forsakes the usual complicated beauty of his music. While the album may also be considered a challenging listen compared to most hip-hop CDs, “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” is beautifully challenging and executed with an intellectual precision. Although the album may go over people’s heads, intelligent and open-minded music lovers should appreciate the record’s multiple layers of creativity. Simply, “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” by El-P is a complicated modern hip-hop classic.

El-P Interviews

El-P Interview

by Josh Potter

Having just returned from the first segment of his world tour supporting I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, before departing for the European stretch, and after what he described as more interviews in one month than Elvis had done in his entire life, El-P was kind enough to talk about live hip hop, the hype-machine, and Paula Zahn.

MVRemix: How you feeling? I know you were sick last night.

El-P: Yeah. I’ve been running around like a maniac.

MVRemix: You still out in LA?

El-P: No, no. I just got back last night. MVRemix: Is this part of the tour or what?

El-P: Yeah, it’s the tour. Doing shows – it’s getting serious, you know. We just did six shows, then we go to Europe and then I come back to finish up the tour in the States, so, yeah, it’s officially on.

MVRemix: How’s the live thing working out?

El-P: It’s great. Incredible. Every show’s been sold out. We’ve taken our whole vibe and presentation way above and beyond what I ever thought was possible.

MVRemix: So the material’s been translating well to the stage?

El-P: It certainly does.

MVRemix: Tell me a little bit about your band.

El-P: It’s great. We’ve got an amazing lighting director, sound man. He does a bunch of projection work. The shit’s ill, man.

MVRemix: This album’s so conceptual in nature. How are you approaching the whole live set-up? Track by track, or are you trying to do the whole album straight-up?

El-P: Well, you know, you pick and choose — what you think are good performance songs. We’re not doing the entire record, but a lot of the record. At this point it’s really cool because I don’t have to do a bunch of old songs from other records. And, I think the way we’re approaching the live show — the theatricality of it — we can just do the new material and get out there with it. You know, it’s definitely a work in progress, but I guarantee it’s unlike any other hip hop show out there.

MVRemix: It’s cool that you’re taking on this whole world tour right now. Do you feel like the live hip hop thing is lacking in general?

El-P: Yeah. I’m trying to destroy that whole idea. Absolutely. I think the problem is people don’t take their shit seriously in hip hop. People don’t have any sense of theatricality. People don’t invest their money into the show. See, in the rock world they say, hey, let’s take all of our money from this show and invest it into the next show.

MVRemix: Right.

El-P: To me, it makes so much sense. And so basically, that’s what I’m doing. You know, people don’t want to invest in the presentation — don’t want to take a sound guy, don’t want to take a lighting guy. You know, and I think most people do get a little bit more this way, rather than seeing the same shit. You know, you go, you see a few people on stage, there’s no lighting, there’s no anything, there’s no drama, there’s no costumes… [laughs]

MVRemix: Just a DJ and an MC…

El-P: And then you go to see a fucking rock show and there’s an intensity.

MVRemix: Pyrotechnics and shit…

El-P: It’s just the premise of a hip hop show, and I can’t really say it’s wrong. Most guys are just standing there rapping, and that’s cool and everything, but there are people out there doing much, much crazier shit, so, you know, if you’re trying to compete, you’re losing.

MVRemix: I’m bringing to mind the Mars Volta here. Are you bringing any of those guys, or any of your guests, on stage for this tour?

El-P: Well, no no. The Mars Volta tour put the idea in my head. I mean, when I started hanging out with them and seeing their shows, I was being like ‘Holy shit! How the fuck…’ I mean, the lighting alone… And they were like, ‘we spend every dime on these shows.’ And it made so much sense, because, you know, we’re trying to go somewhere here, but in the hip hop mentality, the indie hip hop mentality everyone’s trying to pinch their pennies so hard, and to me I’m like, look, let me put the fucking money into something that’s gonna step it up a little bit, even if it’s just a little bit.

MVRemix: Yeah.

El-P: If those motherfuckers could just buy a few fucking strobe lights… Anyway, I could talk about it forever, but that’s what I want to do — step it up a notch. You know, it’s a different type of show.

MVRemix: I’ve heard you talk in the past about the whole ‘visceral’ element of music, in terms of your approach to song writing and beat creation, and it seems to play into the live aspect too. Does that sound about right?

El-P: I want to play the music that I can actually lose my god damn mind on stage with. There are only two things in this whole music industry that are actually fun: making records and performing them. The rest is bullshit. I can’t spend two years working on a record and then just come out under some hot white lights. [Laughs] That’s not happening.

MVRemix: Is it nice to get away from your second life of managing the label, for a little while at least?

El-P: Um, yeah, you know, it’s definitely nice. And it’s weird. I’m not, like, use to being self-centered. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to actually, sort of, focus on myself. It’s hard for me, like shit. Even the amount of interviews I do. I mean, it’s like, I’ve probably done more interviews than Elvis has ever done (laughing), like, in the last month. It’s pretty cool. I’m just not use to it. My life in the past five years has been so much more about the cats I care about, helping them get their careers off the ground.

MVRemix: Right.

El-P: But I will say that, yeah. It’s nice mostly because I have a piece of art that I’m excited about. And I also feel like, when my records come out, I get to kind of be the prototype of the working ambitions I believe in.

MVRemix: People had been talking about this album for months before it came out. I mean, the hype-machine was huge. How do you think that’s affected the way you’ve approached it? It’s such a personal album, but at the same time you’re forced to be out in the open so much. How does that affect the way you approach the material?

El-P: It doesn’t affect the way I approach the material. The material is created in a vacuum, whether or not people like it. All you can do is make music that you’re proud of, and put everything you have into it. And when you’re done with that bitch, you can put it out, and know in your heart that you used everything you had at the time. Whether or not people like your shit or hate your shit, that’s really not the point. So, it doesn’t change me at all. But am I happy? Of course I’m happy that people are responding to the record the way they are.

MVRemix: Hey, did you see that Paula Zahn thing about a month ago? It was a special called “Hip Hop: Art or Poison?”

El-P: [Laughs] No. I mean this is nothing new. It’s a question that’s been asked ever since white culture found itself faced with black culture. It’s really about fear, like, who the fuck cares if someone’s asking the question of whether or not hip hop is poison? It’s the fact they used that phrase that shows they don’t know what they’re talking about? The question is, why is everyone so shocked that people are fucking reacting right now. I mean, you can only put out one million fucking cocaine booty-rap songs before someone says something about it. And, I hate to say the typical thing — like, what everyone already thinks I think anyway — but I like MC’s, I like rap music, mainstream, underground, fuck — if you’re nasty you’re nasty. So let’s stop pretending that this shit is dope. As far as I’m concerned, the only people who should be doing drug rap music are the Clipse.

MVRemix: Ok.

El-P: And why, you ask? But you didn’t ask. Because they’re dope MC’s. And they’ve got dope beats. And they’re better than everyone else at it. So, why doesn’t everyone else just go find another style? And people in the mainstream are reacting to this shit because they agree. Intellectually you can see that, of course, it’s kind of wack. And it does have a certain effect that people don’t like. But, that being said, they’re wrong. They’re wrong. They’re only seeing one aspect of it. I think we’re at this point where club music and club culture can again stand up and define what it means to be involved in this. And frankly, they’re going to have to. Once again we’re being asked to explain to everybody in the world who’s looking down through the most distorted lens, “Why exactly is it that we’re supposed to take you seriously? Why exactly is it that this is a positive thing?” And if we can’t answer that question and we can’t look people in the eye, then it’s only our fucking fault.

Original Article

Aesop Rock El-P Reviews

El-P – I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead review

by Josh Potter

In the calm before the storm, a simple voice asks a simple question: “Do you think that if you were falling in space that you would slow down after a while or go faster and faster?” It’s Donna Hayward from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me — an ominous sample to begin an ominous opening track. But like a PCP-induced fever dream, omens turn to nightmares, and like something plucked from the pages of George Orwell or Phillip K. Dick, the nightmare proves itself to be far more scary and far more real than a mere night-time fantasy. “This is the sound of what you don’t know killing you.” The hook spouts it and the album embodies it. I’d tell you to run for cover, but this whole thing’s been brewing for too long to turn back now. We’ve seen it all coming and have no choice but to ride it out. Believe me, it’ll be worth it. “Cop a feel or two.”

Four years in the making, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead has been rightfully described as El-P’s “post-traumatic stress album.” It’s a harrowing, visceral concept album, as much a response to the Draconian, post-9/11 world, as to personal tribulations. Its goal of capturing the political by representing the personal results in a fully-realized 13-track dystopia of searing guitars, dissonant electronics, and heavy industrial beat-scapes. It’s the much anticipated follow-up to 2002’s Fantastic Damage, and has been heralded by some as the most important rap album of 2007, as early as Fall 2006.

Employing his Gay Dog method of collaboration (pulled from the South Park episode in which George Clooney appears as a gay dog), El-P has assembled a veritable who’s-who of the contemporary music world to lend the disc additional gravity. Trent Reznor, Omar and Cedric of the Mars Volta, Chan Marshall, and Tunde of TV on the Radio are just a few of his guests. I’ll Sleep… . finds El-P behind the microphone as well as the MPC, trading cryptic verses with Def Jux legionnaires Aesop Rock, Cage, and Mr. Lif.

In fact, his top-notch production value aside, it’s El-P’s lyricism that carries the day and holds the sprawling beast of an album together. Slipping in and out of characters, reprising earlier themes and using the power of suggestion as much as the gift of gab, the narrative tug of the album drags the helpless listener through the muck and mire of the tracks, teasing him with a glimmer of hope in the end.

From when the newpie dip sparks in the first verse of “Tasmanian Pain Coaster,” “the whole design got (his) mind cryin'” and it won’t let up. In “Up All Night” Lif tells El “we’re all deranged/ I’m no different/ I wish my hope still existed.” Yet in “Drive” El “hopped in the hooptie screamin’ freedom is mine.” It’s not optimism, though, so much as desperate resilience. “Dear Sirs” finds El allerting the powers that be that he will not in even the most unlikely situations fight their war, ever. Even after having to execute his lover in “Habeas Corpses” the issue is determined to be a matter of “faith versus physics,” and the plea goes out in “Flyentology” to “keep me in the sky that’s all that I cry/ I’ll become your servant if it’s worth your time.” When the newpie’s burned to the filter in “Poisenville Kids No Wins,” nothing’s been resolved, but it seems that the issue at hand has at least come into better focus. “How the fuck do you explain your own self-destruction,” El muses, “and still remain trusted?”

Self-destruction aside, El-P has little to fear in the trust department. I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is the album that the hype-machine always expected he’d make — unsettling, urgent and necessary. It’s an album to be feared for the same reason it ought to be sought out. It’s one big helping of tough-love and even a spoon full of sugar isn’t going to help it go down. Don’t expect that the free-fall is going to slow down anytime soon, because as Laura Palmer speculates, through a haze of reverb, in response to Donna’s question, “for a long time you wouldn’t feel anything, then you’d burst into fire. And the angels wouldn’t help you because they’d all gone away.”

Original Article