El-P
Cancer 4 Cure


4.5
superb

Review

by sharksanddanger USER (7 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2012 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cancer 4 Cure is El-P's most consistent effort yet and one perfectly suited to the social climate of today.

EL-P’s first solo album in five years and first to not be released on his own Def Jux label (Fat Possum Records is handling this one) comes right as R.A.P. Music, the album he produced for Killer Mike, is being hyped as hip-hop album of the year. Is that too much El-P for one month? The answer, quite simply, is no. On R.A.P. Music, El-P’s futuristic beats serve as a counterpoint to Killer Mike’s southern flow and for the most part, stay in the background playing a support role. On Cancer 4 Cure, El-P comfortably inhabits the post-apocalyptic sonic landscape he’s created, even if sometimes it threatens to consume him.

Like all other El-P albums, Cancer 4 Cure seems to inhabit its own dimension, a dimension carved out by chainsaw synths, howitzer drums, and R2-D2 on acid blips. Entering this dimension can be difficult, especially for those accustomed to hip-hop that doesn’t scream in your ear and suddenly make left turns that drive the listener into a wall as on the end of leading single The Full Retard. He’s not afraid to go into new territory and let the music stand for itself, Drones Over BKlYN has a voice warning “don’t do it” to which he replies “I’m doing it” before the track ends with a bluesy guitar solo over haunting atmospheric synth. Not to mention closing track, $ Vic/FTL (Me and You), which is over eight minutes long and features long instrumental interludes. El-P’s beats are often claustrophobic and always at least mildly threatening, reflecting the paranoia running through the album. It’s no wonder that opening track Request Denied is 3/4th’s instrumental and allows for you to acclimate yourself to the bleak world El-P calls home before you get to meet the man himself.

And when you finally do get introduced to El-P, you find he’s as abrasive as the sounds he lives in. El-P uses his mic to spit esoteric sci-fi infused lines about the present, the future and the way they interact. “It’s like a fresh start to a new world and I’d do anything, anything, to go home” he says on Works Every Time with help from Paul Banks of Interpol, confessing his fear that the future will rob us of our humanity. As easy as it is to get lost in gadgets and technology, El-P reminds us to fear these tools that can be used against us on Drones Over BKLYN. Not that El-P forgets who’s behind the trigger, Tougher Colder is the haunting tale of a soldier kept up at night writing a letter to the mother of a man he killed. Murder is revisited on For My Upstairs Neighbor where El-P tells his battered wife of a neighbor “do the thing you have to and I swear I’ll them nothing” and when the cops come asking questions, he casually tells them “good luck working it, Columbo/ I’mma bounce, you got my info/ But you’ll never get my pity and I’m out”.

El-P has created something as dark as is it noisy, reminding us the world of tomorrow may be made of shiny chrome but the people in it are as twisted as ever. We’re in the new millennium, but nothing’s changed and we should fear the powers pulling the puppet strings behind the cold eyes of the cameras watching us. You can call El-P a crazy paranoiac, but you can’t deny he has a reason for being one; the world has become a claustrophobic place. Furthermore, he won’t listen to whatever you say about him; after all he says “I’d sooner wash my dick in acid than ask what you think” (Drones Over BKLYN) and channels Groucho Marx with “I wouldn’t want to be a part of any club that would have me” (The Jig Is Up). One thing’s for certain, once you descend into Cancer 4 Cure, you won’t be the same, but it’s so worth it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
YetAnotherBrick
May 22nd 2012


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been digging so much El-P-related stuff and other prog-hop lately, I'm getting this asap. I'm pretty sure he's becoming one of my favorite musicians. Great review, too.

Digging: Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom

aqualungcancer
May 22nd 2012


573 Comments


Yes! Emmerson Lake and Palmer are back!!

Wolfhorde
May 22nd 2012


13688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been digging so much El-P-related stuff and other prog-hop lately,
I've been digging so much El-P-related stuff and other prog-hop
prog-hop

what

Digging: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Den sorgligaste musiken i varlden

MalleusMaleficarum
May 22nd 2012


14393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is good

porch
May 22nd 2012


8460 Comments


yes

bloc
May 22nd 2012


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Couldn't get into this

sharksanddanger
May 22nd 2012


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Emerson Lake and Palmer have made a lot of advances to their sound.

porch
May 22nd 2012


8460 Comments


lol !!

YetAnotherBrick
May 22nd 2012


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I've been digging so much El-P-related stuff and other prog-hop lately,
I've been digging so much El-P-related stuff and other prog-hop
prog-hop

what"

prog-hop. progressive hip-hop. it's what i call it lol :P

Wolfhorde
May 22nd 2012


13688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Is this really Emerson Lake and Palmer?"
lol, are you kidding

@anotherbrick: I know what the prog stands for. I just think the term is as nonsensical as "cloudhop"

PorkchopExpress
May 22nd 2012


389 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wondered when this was going to get a review. Nice job.

MalleusMaleficarum
May 22nd 2012


14393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

brb

listening to sci-fi conscious hop

Wolfhorde
May 22nd 2012


13688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"listening to sci-fi conscious hop"
If it's not about Star Trek I don't wanna hear about it.

YetAnotherBrick
May 22nd 2012


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I know what the prog stands for. I just think the term is as nonsensical as "cloudhop""

really? you think the term 'progressive hip-hop' is 'nonsensical'? it's hip-hop...that's progressive. not too difficult of a concept to grasp.

Wolfhorde
May 22nd 2012


13688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Idk, wanna go listen to some pagan folk influenced epic battle metal?

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2012


6100 Comments


lol cloudhop. Cloudrap is definitely a thing/aesthetic/genre. Review is pretty good, but you start crossing metaphors in weird ways ("we should fear the powers pulling the puppet strings behind the cold eyes of the cameras watching us" makes sense, but..).

Wolfhorde
May 22nd 2012


13688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mathcore, Jazzcore and similar are also things but no normal human being uses these terms, let alone knows what they mean.

daIceman
May 22nd 2012


412 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

album of the year... now wait for Aesop response

daIceman
May 22nd 2012


412 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

nice review by the way pos'd

sharksanddanger
May 22nd 2012


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have to admit I'm more excited for Skelethon than I was for this.



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