Label: Fat Possum
Released: May 22

When El-P announced that Def Jux would be going on hiatus, the news wasn't just sad for fans of the label, but fans of the underground, as well. Finally, the era where independent labels could thrive had come, but Def Jux, a pioneer, was sadly closing up shop. Meanwhile, despite the bad news, El-P was poised for a brilliant resurgence, which began with his work producing Killer Mike's latest release, R.A.P. Music.

Although, sonically, Cancer 4 Cure has little in common with El-P's previous efforts, it's obvious that no one else on Earth but El-P could have made this record. The lyrical highlights come from story telling tracks like "Tougher Colder Killer," "For My Upstairs Neighbor," and "Works Every Time." El-P remains as dark and as consumed with fear and loathing as ever. -IA