Today is Father’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than by running down 11 songs by a musician who epitomizes pretty much everything that fatherhood is not about: El-P. So here we go, a Father’s Day El-P Megamixxx for you all to listen to with your beloved father and/or progeny. Enjoy!
1. Fantastic Damage. Title song off of El-P’s first album, and a great way to get started. I love the scratching that happens at the beginning of this track and El-P’s pitch-perfect ad libbing “shut up.” Sets the tone for what’s to come.
2. The Full Retard. This is pretty much what El-P is about. Just screwing around, saying the most outlandish things possible, and totally mocking the balanced/healthy lifestyle in the most egregious ways imaginable. Don’t miss the video.
3. Flyentology. Per Rap Genius, “the whole song is about turning to God, after a life of disbelief, when a plane is about to crash.” Maaaaybe—if so, it’s a consummately El-P gesture. For sure El-P is at his worst here, and this song has got one of the best hooks I’ve ever heard.
4. Dear Sirs. El-P made this track back in those glorious days when torture-loving war criminals occupied the White House and we were all going to turn the Middle East into a subsidiary of Haliburton. This whole song is basically El-P saying all of the impossible things that will happen before he ever shoots a gun in a war for George W. Bush.
5. Tougher Colder Killer. And speaking of war, this is probably my favorite El-P joint ever. The first verse is just fire, El-P rapping in the voice of a veteran who has come back from war and seen the truth: no matter how bad you think you are, there’s a tougher colder killer out there who will destroy you. (You’re welcome to try and interpret just what that “tougher colder killer” is.) Killer Mike and Despot kill their guest spots here.
6. Stepfather Factory. One of the greatest concept tracks in the history of hip hop. El-P raps in the voice of a entrepreneur who has decided to manufacture mechanical stepfathers. Of course, this decision has very personal roots that El-P investigates for us . . .
7. The Overly Dramatic Truth. El-P shows his softer side, rapping about a relationship that just wouldn’t work.
8. Tasmanian Pain Coaster. Starts with a fantastic interlude from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Also includes one of the best El-P hooks ever: “this is the sound of what you don’t know killing you / this is the sound of what you don’t believe still true / this is the sound of what you don’t want still in you.”
9. For My Upstairs Neighbor (Mum’s the Word). Just try to get El-P to turn stool pigeon and this is what happens . . .
10. T.O.J. Another love joint from El-P. Apparently he’s got a lot of women in his past that he just can’t let go of, undoubtedly adding to the massive pain of being El-P and making for some good music.
11. $4 Vic/Nothing But You+Me (FTL). A great way to end, one of those extra-long, extra-obscure tracks that El-P tends to end his albums with. You can think about this one for days.