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Cancer for Cure - FAT POSSUM
FILTER Grade: 89%

By Zachary Sniderman on May 22, 2012



El-P is out for blood on Cancer for Cure, another blast of aggressive, lo-fi, impossibly complex rap from hip-hop’s problem child par excellence. The album mixes dense, message-driven lyrics with deep, dark beats fuzzed to all hell. Raps like, “Live on a high metal big burner bunts and combust into something and so on fuck it,” on album opener “Request Denied,” take one breath to spit and about a half hour to unpack. The album is dense but the wordplay drives towards a purpose, describing a sleepless city of bizarre problems and bizarre characters. What makes the album shine is El-P’s production, which is both claustrophobic and lyrical. Hits like “Stay Down” pair cannon-like drums and treble screeches with trumpets and pianos. Album closer “$4 Vic/FTL (You and Me)” has shades of French House. El-P is a musician flexing his talent and taking names. It’s this balance of aggression and harmony that make El-P so engaging—and Cancer for Cure so triumphant. 

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