Jun 8, 2012

C4C (2012)


Critics seem to be favouring alt rap again after promoting ignorant shit for the last 5 or so years, probably thanks to Danny or Death Grips or something- so let's see how long it takes for boring ass music writers start comparing every rap record they hear to 36 Chambers and Illmatic again (even El-P's ground breaking work on The Cold Vein couldn't escape that shit)

So being particularly non-prolific for a rapper (his last was 2007's I'll Sleep When You're Dead and before that it was 2002's Fantastic Damage), El-P makes it quite an event whenever he releases an album. Due to the resurgence in critical appreciation of records abstract and abrasive, his timing couldn't be better with Cancer 4 Cure and R.A.P. Music (produced by El-P) frequently being hailed as 2012's best rap albums (sorry Death Grips fans!). Unlike more prolific rappers who have a definite great run of albums followed by a decline, El-P has not once sounded like he's out of passion or ideas since he caught critical attention with Company Flow's 1997 masterpiece Funcrusher Plus

Cancer 4 Cure is what you're expecting if you've heard anything he's done. You'll probably get that much from all the reviews you read- cite production on x album, lyrical obsessions from y, continuation of whatever, expansion of whatever, not as good/much better than ___ and so on. If you aren't a fan, this won't make you one. If you are, buy this shit! He's as passionate as ever and I can't find a dud out of the 12 tracks here. If you haven't heard him anywhere, this might be a good place to start because it's new (WOOOOO) and awesome (YEAH!) and short-ish (12 songs!). Expect some of the best production you'll ever hear in rap- provided you like your beats dizzyingly intense but also layered and just, I dunno, awesome. Lyrically, El-P gets compared to just about anybody obsessed with delightful subjects like the apocalypse, free-will, surveillance, and sci-fi dystopias. In fact, even without his rapping, the beats manage to convey that wintry, grey, horrible shit, while at the same time being so creative and excited (mainly schizophrenic tho) that things never feel morbid or depressing

One of the few veterans people still get excited about when he drops an album (not just nervous or waiting to yell HE FELL OFF at their computer screens or at record stores (you show off!)) because if people ever want to know why he's still beloved the answer is right there and whenever somebody's looking for something creative, he won't disappoint. Doesn't disappoint! I haven't heard an album so creative and intense in I can't remember how long. I'll probably never fully understand Cancer 4 Cure (TOO MANY LAYERS TOO SMART TOO INTENSE) but I'm so glad it's here raising the benchmark for other rappers and producers in 2012. Should be an interesting year!

A

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