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Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins
● Generally acknowledge what makes these individual albums important.
● Look for shared musical values that defined the Def Jux character and
how we experience them today.
● Cannibal Ox-Cold Vein: released May 15th 2001. Produced entirely by
El-P, this album might be the single most important Def Jux release.
Vordul Mega is known by many as the most impressive freestyle mind in
rap. This release captured what was beloved about the Wu and took it for
● Aesop Rock-Labor Days. released September 18th 2001. The birth of a
singular force. Blockhead produces 8 of the 14 songs. Aesop is a lyrical
monster, a tornado of words and images. If you’re pondering the
influence of this album…look at Billy Woods 2017 album Known Unknowns
produced entirely by Blockhead except for 2 songs produced by Aesop
Rock. It was the second full length album Blockhead produced for Woods
(Dour Candy in 2013). Labor Days set a template for how dense,
authoritative rap could sound. A counterpoint to the “conscious rap”
● Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition: released March 23rd 2004. Critical album in
several ways; Murs builds his legend as the next evolutionary step in
West Coast underground influencing a lot of cool/sexual/wacky rappers of
today. 9th Wonder puts his stamp down as someone who can make his sound
work in many ways.
This is the top tier of Def Jux influence. Below this is another
important level of albums like Rob Sonic-Telicatessen, Cage-Hell’s
Winter, Mr. Lif, and Hangar 18.