I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
(03.2007, Definitive Jux)
Verdict = More polished but just as paranoid.
I don’t know about anyone else, but to me El-P seems to be just about the most intense character in modern music. Everything he touches seems to be infused with a vision of perfection coupled with insanity. All I know is that I would not want to compete with this guy on any terms. I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is certainly no exception to this rule. With this follow up to the nuts incredible Fantastic Damage, El-P continues to pull all the stops. First off, for those unfamiliar El-P means El Producto and what that equates to is insane production. This has always been El-P’s specialty and I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead only ups the ante. It seems that in the last five years since his last full length came out, all the various other production work he has been up to has helped El-P find some chemical that has made his beats somehow more polished and heavy while retaining his signature noisy grit. The bottom line is that El-P is the best producer in the business and I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is the nail in the coffin that is going to secure that title until God decides to start producing hip hop. Next up: lyrical content. El-P is one sick, paranoid, crazy dude and the last seven years of Bush certainly hasn’t helped things. That fact alone makes El-P’s futuristic, political flow as relevant and (un)comfortable as ever. In the end there is one word that can sum up I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, ‘intense.’ This is a rollercoaster ride that you won’t soon forget and an absolute essential for anyone with an inclination towards hip hop.