THE COLD VEIN
When Cannibal Ox's debut record hit shelves in 2001, its spectacularly sonic soundscape and no-frills, glamourless narrative of the streets of NYC pumped new life in the underground and catapaulted El-P, the album's producer, once again to the forefront of hip hop's leftfield. The grim, ghostly production of El-P was the spine and Vast Aire and Vordul's almost gutter poetics are the soul. Vast Aire, in particular, is like a lunchroom philosopher with his scathing, deliberate delivery and his cryptic diction. Vordul Mega plays the perfect opposite with his direct battle-ready chestpuffin'. Just two kids growing up in the city. And the result is easily the most poignant debut by a duo since Mobb Deep's The Infamous some six years earlier.
Cold Vein also perfectly rolls together the formulaic Def Jux sound and is certainly the most pertinent offering from the post-millennial independent hip hop movement.
Rumors have been bouncing around about a possible follow-up, but most would agree that, as sweet as it sounds, the outcome could not come close to matching Cold Vein's brilliance.
"A B-Boy Alpha"