1997 was a pretty huge year for underground hip-hop. Rhymesayers Entertainment was just getting off the ground with the release of Atmosphere's Overcast! EP, (released only months prior to this) and a small group of upstarts known as Company Flow would set a watermark for the independent hip-hop sound and ethos with the release of Funcrusher Plus. El-P's forward-thinking and abstract production style was apparent even then, doing what Andrew Hultkrans described as "deconstructing hip-hop conventions and rebuilding them into a spare, murky, sputtering soundscape". The lyricism on display by both El and Big Juss is impressive as well, but one wonders where their metronome was during the recording sessions (for being called Company Flow, they sure do curve off-beat a lot). Aside from that, though, this was a massive statement for the underground, and to know the backstory behind what happened with El-P and the record label which originally signed him gives this record even more swagger and significance.
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