The one proper album released by Cannibal Ox — 2001’s The Cold Vein — stands as one of the best hip-hop albums of the aughts, and maybe the best album ever released on El-P’s Definitive Jux label. (I’d put it at No. 2 after El-Producto’s own I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, and mention too that Company Flow’s masterpiece Funcrusher Plus was released not on Def Jux but Rawkus.) The album was produced by El-P and featured emcees Vast Aire and Vordul Mega delivering gripping tales of a broken, terrifying Gotham. It was a perfect combination and display of talent, but Can Ox never gave it a proper follow up, eventually disintegrating after releasing a live album and rumors of financial disputes with Def Jux. (It may or may not be related to those rumored disputes, but in a comment thread on his Facebook page in 2011, El-P said, “there wont ever be a can ox album produced by me again and thats a fact.”) But El-P’s old outfit Company Flow launched a successful mini-reunion last year, and now Can Ox (sans El, presumably) are getting the band back together, too. At the moment it’s only one gig, next month at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory, but considering the recent success enjoyed by old Def Jukies such as El-P and Aesop Rock, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Vast and Vordul bring back Can Ox full time. Tickets are on sale now; show info below.
Cannibal Ox will perform at Knitting Factory on 12/9 with C-Rayz Walz, Prop Anon, Double AB, Creature, Ireelz, J.Stylez, and Original Text. Buy tickets here.