Produced entirely by El-P and featuring emcees Vast Aire and Vordul Mega, Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein remains one of my favourite independent hip-hop releases of all time.

Gloomy, sinister and mysterious, it’s a disturbing listen from beginning to end, the duo’s poetic ambitions somewhat obscured by their ominous lyrical content.

Most of the music publications I’ve read usually mention similarities between this record and Wu-Tang’s ’93 debut, citing in particular, resemblances between RZA’s and EI-P’s production style.

Besides the intricate use of samples and the dark vibe permeating through both albums, I don’t really get it. Where Enter the Wu-Tang emphasised nimble verbal jousts, chaotic loops and frantic energy, The Cold Vein is much more methodical, orchestral, the rappers taking their time to compose stark, urban landscapes.

Don’t believe the publications, The Cold Vein is one of the most revolutionary and original records to come out in the past decade.

Written by Stop The Breaks
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.