Cannibal Ox

THE COLD VEIN: 93%

GOTHAM: 60%

BLADE OF THE RONIN: 65%

This marathon really sparked a lot of different emotions for me. It started with pure happiness, which quickly turned to disappointment and sadness. I read about the beef between Vast Aire & Definitive Jux—the label started by El-P, to which Vast Aire was signed—and I probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but it really seems like something happened to Vast Aire around that time. I mean, like, mentally… I probably shouldn’t be speaking about this especially since I’m completely unfamiliar with Vast Aire’s solo work, but it seems like he just started going downhill as an artist around that time. When I was reading about the whole altercation with Def Jux, something that really stood out to me was the way Vast was communicating to his fans about the whole situation. It was all through text, and it kinda looked like something an internet troll would type up. Everything was in caps lock. There were a shit load of random exclamation points. There were also a lot of random question marks even when he wasn’t asking questions, which was really bizarre and confusing. He was angrily recalling different events that occurred prior to his departure from the label. To be honest, based on what he was saying I kinda understood why he was frustrated. However, the way it was written just seemed so strange… Before I even read about what happened, I watched a documentary on YouTube called “The Making of The Cold Vein.” It was awesome. It seemed like it was more focused on Def Jux as a collective rather than The Cold Vein itself, but that’s neither here nor there. The Vast Aire I saw in that video wasn’t the same Vast Aire who was angrily typing about his hatred for El-P and the other “white” and “emo” rappers on Def Jux. The Vast Aire in that video was obsessed with poetry, and seemed very introspective. I didn’t get that on Gotham or Blade Of The Ronin. I don’t know what happened; it doesn’t even feel like the same person. Maybe there was some kind of traumatic experience that affected him mentally. One recurring subject in his angry rants was the death of Camu Tao. He kept talking about how Camu Tao hated everyone on Def Jux, and about how he was better friends with him than anyone else. It kinda seemed like he was trying to prove his friendship with Camu Tao. The whole rant really reminded me of what happened between Blu & The Alchemist. I didn’t even realize how ridiculous the whole situation was until I read El-P’s response, which was very calm and respectful. He wasn’t angry at Vast Aire or anything. He just seemed like he was hurt to have lost a friend. It was actually pretty sad. I don’t mean to make this completely about Vast Aire, but I don’t know how much Vordul Mega had to do with this whole altercation, which seems to be the main reason that things started going downhill in the first place. Again, I’m definitely not the best person to be speaking about this since I’ve never heard any of Vordul Mega or Vast Aire’s solo work. It’s almost impossible to talk about Can Ox without mentioning it tho. So yeah.  I wish I could still call myself a fan. It just doesn’t even feel like the same group anymore tho. The Cold Vein was only one album, so technically I wasn’t really feelin’ most of their work. This is the most depressing marathon I’ve ever done. Hopefully that doesn’t ever change, and, if it does, I hope it’s because they come back with a surprisingly good project. I want to be a Can Ox fan. I’m really just a Cold Vein fan tho…

Favorite Song: Stress Rap
Least Favorite Song: The Fire Rises

Verdict: 73%

B-

70-79

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