In 2001 Cannibal Ox released The Cold Vein to amazing critical reception. The album was put on numerous 'best of 2001' lists, and even managed to make it on a few 'best of the decade' lists. Pitchfork Media placed The Cold Vein at number 152 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s. Rhapsody ranked the album #5 on its "Hip-Hop’s Best Albums of the Decade" list.
El-P was named to be producer of the year, and everyone was hoping Cannibal Ox was going to be the next Wu-Tang. Cannibal Ox was a gritty, yet beautiful sounding, take on the New York life style, easily taking listeners to the core of the Big Apple regardless of whether you've actually been there or not.
And then there were financial differences, and Vodul's alcoholism and clinical depression, and all of a sudden it's 2007, and all three members of Cannibal Ox are saying that The Cold Vein is going to be their first, last, and only release.
To me, this album sounds like the future. Not necessarily the future of music, but more so a sound-scape of what the future of New York will look and sound like one day. It's like a less-jokey version of Deltron's 3030, if 3030 had been called "Deltron 2020", and Del lived in New York.
Download the entire album for free now, then go cry about the fact that a new one isn't coming any time soon...
Other great El-P albums (the producer for CanOx) include Fantastic Damage, and I'll Sleep When You're Dead.