Wednesday, September 12, 2007
 The Cold Vein
Album: The Cold Vein
Artist: Cannibal Ox
Release Date: May 2001
Label: Definitive Jux
“I always used to tell people it sounded like Wu-Tang or Mobb Deep rapping over Björk’s Homogenic, but that kind of sells it short. El-P’s production is incredibly massive, deep as space, and the rhymes are on a higher level than most people are used to hearing; the union of Vast Aire and Vordul Mega is kinda like that time Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash got together. Any time someone says ‘Rap sucks now’, I retort with The Cold Vein. I really feel it’s one of the most visionary albums of the last decade. It’s the sound of the ghetto on Bizarro World.”
- Raz, from Cut Shallow Radio
Life's ill. Sometimes life might kill. When life feels like Earth don't spin, life’s at a stand-still, dangerous cuz man kills. And while 5-O might shoot black head, nigga, sorry I sold spacesuit to crackheads. And if there's crack in a basement, crackheads stand adjacent. You were a stillborn baby; Mother didn't want you, but you were still born. Boy meets world, of course his Pops is gone. What you figure? That chalky outline on the ground is your father figure? So he steps to the next stencil, that's a hustler infested with money and diamond cluster. A pigeon can't drop shit if it never flew. I rest my head on 115, but miracles only happen on 34th, so I guess life is mean. And death is the median. And purgatory is the mode that we settle in.
We in the catacombs, nappy headed never used a comb, and built with the forces that blew away Dorothy’s home. I grab the mic like Are You Experienced, but I don't play the guitar, I play my cadence; the author with a Papermate, spitting paperweights. Spit flows straight off corn rows and braids, light bones and strike those with words I spray. Cause tragedies, crack clavicles, rap classical. Rap these subliminal thoughts of criminal ways while critical times got my mind locked in a physical maze. They be like ‘I don’t know his name but he aims like Wayne Gretzky’. That’s funny cuz I don’t play hockey. I play horse on the mic and watch them all copy. I’m not a bum, I’m a nomad off dome; thoughts have no home, the page is ours to roam. Hard boiled, the rap gargoyles, stoned at night on top of buildings, gothic like Bruce in the blue suit. My mother said, "You sucked my pussy when you came out; don't ever talk back. I handed your life and I'll snatch it back". And I ain't dealing with no minimum wage; I'd rather construct rhymes on a minimum page. Cynical ways, cats sin for nickels these days. My first fight was me against five boroughs. I lost my first wish, but remembered every detail of my first kiss; that's that Bronx Tale bliss. Hip-Hop, it was '88; even at the age of 10, phrases levitate. Straight out of the depths of Hell, reflect the sect and inhale the buddah wisdom. Hopping off Huffy, stealing Marvel comics and water Uzis. On corners where coppers will hop outta Dunkin Donuts, poppin’ they gun and shoot us. Thinking Rudy Guili really don't give a fuck about a moolie. This is the next lifetime and you wanna battle. Either you like reincarnation or the smell of carnations. Now every egg my goose lay stays golden; with your poker face, I punch you in the stomach and you folded. Apostle that writes novels with thoughts, mega hostile. We pigeons equipped with talons to twist, split owls. Now watch me skate off the scene with a mongoose, pop a wheelie and alley-oop deuce bottles of frozen rhyme juice, smoke bubble gum while munching on Milanos.
Def Jux don't care about your culture or creed, or the color you bleed; it’d be Ox versus aliens. They call me starving' Harlem scissor-tongue, I lick tissue; and pardon me, my lava spit almost hit you. The last cat who tried to see me, he now gotta touch Braille. We spit rips through scripts and strips your bones. I'm off the known; Cannibal Ox inspiring minds, flipping on tracks, spitting these live animal raps. Pop goes the flow of the weasel, strapped with an Ox full of diesel, trapped in the desert with eagles; thoughts of ghetto acapellas in cathedrals, spilling heavy gospels with cheaters. Twisted up, high off the reefer, lost beyond regions of logic and reason, just being. You let your pants sag, but your thoughts gotta pull up; mental calisthenics, laser-brains can't push up. We twist mad sabers, rock the sky; I’m-a stay blazing mics until I'm fading off of this surface to return to my nature. Brain on another plane, gliding through acid rain, that's stress trying to master pain; spit words, not to hurt, but to bash your brain.
I wanted my cardiovascular to fight back; I told my man I started sword fighting, 'cause fencing was similar to tongue kissing. She was in a love triangle, but it wasn't like my feelings weren't there to make it a square. Penny for her thoughts; she's my very own American Beauty, red petals when we talk. Tangle-witted in my opposite sex friendships, with too many emotions, got me bent up. And slow motion was her lips as she worded - The F word. "Don't take it personal, I like you a lot but I don't wanna lose what we got." Tell me to talk to the hand again, and I'll read your palm. All I wanted was grounds for understanding; I ain't greedy, but to hold your heart I gotta put my hand in.
In these streets where they fuck you like the face of a demon, I repent every evening. I'm like just a brother trying to break even. Elohim with the rhyme scheme, and when the lyrics leave the mouth they look like light beams with wings attached to the mic; I say fly rhymes. Brothers is mad I wear knowledge like a third degree burn, light the match, put it to the rhyme book, make sure it all fits in the urn. You'll get smacked right in the kisser like Jackie Gleason, and watch sun/son set it off like light decreasing. Oh shit! On the corner, D’s hop out of unmarked V’s and squeeze 'till we on our knees; I stay muddy in a sleaze with OZ’s. Rap magician chained underwater; in sixty seconds the body's missing. They used to call me Crazy Joe, had a bazooka; now they can call me Batman, beyond your maneuvers. Put a mic in front of me and I'm gonna bless it, hummingbird style, seventy times in one second. And you can't have my 3.14, that's my pi, stupid. I'm a diamond in the rough, and you're Lucy in the sky with a cubic. Negroids act like Sigmund Freud dreaming of a perfect thyroid, screaming cerebrum steroid. That's virtual; if you drunk a V8 you couldn't be parallel, because Hell is vertical. This ain’t a space race so why you rushin'/Russian to be the first to catch a concussion from El-P's percussion? I got calluses on my hand 'cause I held the sun uneven and got the weight of the world on my chest and still breathing. I'm like Moses with a staff that parts the Red Sea, but it's a new day, so I use the mic to depart emcees.
Watch young ladies hop scotch with the pink jellies; a raw dog orphan straight out of the orphanage often. Got my mind wrapped in a coffin, resurrect thoughts in amorphous, morph into Aquaman, talkin to dolphins. Spit a thorn that'll split a form in half, studying math, sip Snapples and twist off caps when you fuckin’ with the sickest cats. Came out the womb of a phoenix, expect nothing less then a mature flame. Velocity's my plane. My thought is my train. The galaxy's the body, sun is the heart, and the black hole's the brain. Every rhyme I write will symbolize my future wife breaking her water in a time without order. Cold vein with thoughts, bubbling hot; this stress got my chest a mess, breathless, I'm vexed, trying to escape out of the depths of Hell's nest, so I rest.
Birds of the same feather flock together, congested on a majestic street corner. That's a short time goal for most of them, cuz most of them would rather expand their wings and hover over greater things. That's what we call inspired flight by the pigeons that gotta eat pizza crust every night. I'm a black man with an African drum in my chest that beats on the opposite of the right, let me know I got a breath left. In this frigid fragile capsule that allows you to fly south before the winter winds trap you, I'm just a pigeon with one mile left, that doggy-paddles through this bullshit ocean of death. And these rags-to-riches words will break bones like the assassination of two birds with one stone. That's why I don't associate with bird brains with their beaks in the air, pelicans with wide jaws yap names for fish heads, you'll get tossed in the flames where some ornithologist will find your skeletal frame. These faces carry scars, Mega large, pigeons turn, penguins talk fables cellular. Arms swing metal palms, iron skin leopard holding evil metal eagle; paranoid fingertips stitched with three-fifty and seven metal shit, tucked behind the belt, ghetto style like delicate street etiquette. Eight arms working short circuit manufactured crack melted, slinging shotguns through the mouth of cracked helmets, black felt it. I rock my simulated air tank bit so I can leave pressures of oxygen where my mic's lit. I'm just a pigeon.
Posted by Vast Aire and Vordul Mega
01. "Iron Galaxy"
02. "Ox Out The Cage" [feat. El-P]
03. "Atom" [feat. Alaska & Cryptic One]
04. "A B-Boys Alpha"
05. "Raspberry Fields"
06. "Straight Off The D.I.C."
08. "The F-Word"
09. "Stress Rap"
10. "Battle For Asgard" [feat. L.I.F.E. Long & C-Rayz Walz]
11. "Real Earth"
12. "Ridiculoid" [feat. El-P]
15. "Scream Phoenix" [unlisted bonus track]
"Iron Galaxy" [audio]
- BONUS: "Pigeon" [audio]
- BONUS: "Raspberry Fields" [audio]
- BONUS: "Painkillers" [video]
- BONUS: "Straight Off The D.I.C." [audio]