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El-P and Killer Mike team up to run the jewels and get me excited about hip-hop again!

I’ve been listening to El-P for around a decade, and while I’ve always had respect for him, I’ve almost always preferred his work when he hasn’t been the main act. His production for Cannibal Ox and his guest verse on Dj Vadim’s track, “Viagra,” were huge for my appreciation of hip-hop and still kill me. On the other hand, I’ve been mostly disappointed by his solo work. But now that I think of it, after hearing his appearance on the remix of A-Trak’s “Piss Test,” I should have been ready for him to get me again. His delivery on this record is direct, confident, and drips with the surety of a real veteran. Did you notice how fond he is of ending his lines with trochees?

Killer Mike I know less well, but his verses on this record make me want to go back and get to know his whole catalogue. It’ll be done. He’s got something classic about his style that I really like…he reminds me of a more lucid Del the Funky Homosapien, or a more aggressive Count Bass-D. Either way, great stuff.

The production on this record does a good job of mixing what’s modern with classic sounds. We’ve still got that 808 groove going on, but it’s accompanied by the dirt and grime of today. Even so, it doesn’t fall prey to fad. There’s no dubstep bass or Dutch house synths here. This is dirty groove, hi-hats that consistently swing, and flow.

I’ll let someone else parse the lyrics, but how about those two Mike Tyson lines!

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