Constantly progressing and unapologetically ambitious, Brooklyn indie-rap icon El-P has returned with Cancer for Cure, his first solo hip-hop album in five years. Since then, the underground rap world that anointed El-P has dissipated, replaced by an anything-goes broadband landscape of endless independent mixtapes and material. But El-P’s sound is hardly irrelevant; his menacing production and complex, katana-sharp flow slice deeper than ever on C4C.
Standout track “Oh Hail No” features fiery, ear-blasting guest verses from emcees Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire and Danny Brown, while lead single “The Full Retard” is a brutalizing banger that obliterates everything in its path. C4C also features guest spots from Interpol’s Paul Banks and Islands frontman Nick Diamonds, with the latter recently appearing onstage with El-P on the Late Show with David Letterman.
“I just kind of do what’s around, what’s natural. I really don’t believe in going too far out of your way to hunt down somebody to do a song,” revealed El-P in a recent Rolling Stone interview, regarding the more unusual collaborations on his new album. “Everybody on the record is somebody that I’ve had in my head or that I’ve had in my life that’s been helping me in the way that I think about music.”
Cancer for Cure is out May 22nd on Fat Possum. You can stream Cancer for Cure below.