I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead

El-P is the grand master of indie hip-hop. As a member of avant garde New York rap crew Company Flow he pretty much set the blueprint for weird, underground geek rap. His music has always been dense, dark and perverse and this is no different. The mistake often made by indie writers when approaching these hellish, paranoia-ridden swampscapes is to say that the rapper’s influences lie beyond hip-hop – within the more critic-friendly genres of post-rock or art-punk. Which is bollocks: this record is pure rap. Like the lolloping darkside synths of ‘Overly Dramatic Truth’? Then spin your RZA Records at half pace. Care for ‘EMG’’s cut-glass electronica? It’s Eric B marinating in napalm. Adore El-P’s manic nasal delivery? Check out Cypress Hill and the cracked-voice of Ghostface Killah. If you enjoy using your brain rather than listening to it fizzle to the strains of Virgin Radio, then buy this.

Alex Miller