Greetings and salutations, acolytes. I would be not at all surprised if you were to tell me that you had nary a clue who El-P is; indeed, given that he is a rapper, and the majority of you prefer your tastes of the devil’s music to come from our more metal-oriented brethren, I actually expect this. There may be a few among you who dabble in the hip-hop underground, however, and if that is the case, then it is difficult to have had at least some tertiary contact with this ubiquitous producer/rapper extraordinaire. El-P (better known as Jamie Meline) is best known as founder/owner/CEO of Definitive Jux Records, as well as his role in producing albums for the likes of Aesop Rock and Killer Mike.
I was previously unfamiliar with El-P when I first came upon his 2012 release Cancer 4 Cure, but I was immediately surprised at how securely the record gripped my brain. As I documented in my analysis at Oculus Infernus, “the initial comparison that rose to my mind was that of Death Grips, and while the same electronic-based experimental nature is present, El-P opts for a more refined, honed style that stands in stark contrast to Death Grips’ brutish bluntness.” The music on Cancer 4 Cure borders on industrial at times, which may partially explain my interest, and the track ‘Stay Down’ stands as a perfect example of this.
The track’s grinding, abrasive verses, punctuated by El-P’s vaguely unorthodox lyrical flow, are offset by the song’s chorus, sung by TV On The Radio‘s Jaleel Bunton. The video plays off this duality in an over-the-top fashion that I found to be quite amusing, and I was even more pleased to see a guest appearance by Mr. Killums from the equally great video for “The Full Retard“. I would advise watching this video, even if you are not necessarily a follower of rap music, as you may be surprised at what you find.