El-P and Killer Mike at Fine Line, 7/5/12

Photo by Erik Hess

When El-P took the stage, with two multi-instrumentalist backing members playing everything from keytar to conga, the audience had already seen a full and solid show, but the energy level still managed to increase. El-P played his new record Cancer4Cure front to back, and hearing it live really helped solidify it as a real contender for album of the year. The beats were helped along by the live aspect, and El-P can still rap like a motherfucker. He powered through the songs and brought a spirited energy that amplified with appearances from the album's guests, who, save Danny Brown, were all on the bill.

Photo by Erik Hess

Before starting "The Full Retard" in earnest, El had Slug bring up Mr. Killums, the lowlife menace-to-society stuffed squirrel that joined El in extensive mayhem for the video of the single. El is one of the biggest icons of independent rap, so his salutes to our local scene were a nice addition -- especially when dedicating the final track, "$4 Vic," a tribute to the late underground rapper Camu Tao, to our own fallen soldier, Eyedea. The many lighters lifted were a nice touch and the subdued energy of the track may well have been the set's highlight. The encore featured some classic El-P tracks, including Company Flow's "Vital Nerve" as well as some keytar solos on classic boom-bap tracks just for shits and giggles. All in all, the night featured four powerful sets that would've stood out on their own; together, they formed a whole that will be difficult to top.

Killer Mike setlist:


Big Beast


Southern Fried

I Ain't Never Scared - Bone Crusher


That's Life 2

The Whole World

Butane (Champion's Anthem)


Ready Set Go

Ric Flair

R.A.P. Music

Kryptonite (I'm On It) - Purple RIbbon All-Stars

El-P setlist:

Request Denied

The Full Retard

Works Every Time

Drones Over BKLYN

Oh Hail No

Tougher Colder Killer

True Story

The Jig Is Up

Sign Here

For My Upstairs Neighbor (Mums the Word)

Stay Down

$4 Vic



No Kings

Can I Kick It - A Tribe Called Quest

Vital Nerve

Deep Space 9mm

Personal Bias: Killer Mike and El-P's albums are already etched into my year-end list.

The Crowd: This is the first time I've seen the men's bathroom have a line while the women's was free. So, lots of dudes.

Overheard: "Real hygienic rap crowd!" -- someone in said bathroom line, seemingly hoping folks will forgo washing their hands in order to speed up the line.

Random notebook dump: Killer Mike had some great quotes about his potential assassination ("Killer Mike was visiting Washington, D.C., and mysteriously dropped dead; he was bit by a rare Egyptian lotus,"), following your dreams ("We can have Ric Flair dreams too. Nothing wrong with Rolexes, women, and cocaine"), and the cheered Randy Moss reference ("Randy Moss never gave me a jersey, that motherfucker -- Daunte Culpepper did").

See Also:
Slideshow: El-P and Killer Mike at the Fine Line
El-P on Prince, his mother, and full-band rap shows as "dusted out Phish concerts"
Killer Mike on being unhappy with Obama, and zombies 

City Pages on Facebook | Gimme Noise on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us
City Pages on Facebook | Gimme Noise on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault