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NY Hip Hop Duo Reigning Supreme – Cannibal Ox – Biography

24 December 2003 No Comment

Cannibal Ox is getting intense responses from heads and journalists alike…saying that it is hip hop that is street, reality based and lyricaly advanced at the same time … delivered with a sincerity, intelligence and skill level that may have never been heard in this way.

CAN*NI*BAL (noun): one that eats the flesh of its own kind 

OX (noun): a slang term used to describe a sharp blade Cannibal Ox, a pair of MC’s that devour their own kind with words as sharp as blades

Harlem, NY natives Vordul Megilah and Vast Aire bring to you their highly anticipated debut 

LP “The Cold Vein”. 

“The Cold Vein” is already elliciting responses toting it is a potentially seminal album in the same way (not stylelisticaly but in spirit ) as the beginning days of Wu-Tang, De La Soul, Company Flow, Ice Cube circa “America’s Most Wanted”, Dr. Octagon and so on. 

El-P of Company Flow fame provides a diverse collection of beats that range from the slow funky “Pain Kill”, to the guitar laced “Pigeon”, and then in one swift step hits you with the high energy “Vein”. the beats bring a heroic futuristic element to all these songs resulting in some of the most epic and interesting production out and further reitterates why he is celebrated as one of the most innovative and creative producers of this day and age. this is the first non co flow full length he’s ever produced.

Despite this being the debut LP, Cannibal Ox are not newcomers to the rap game. The hype on Can Ox has been deafening this past year with constant talk of them on all the hip hop sites as well as consistent coverage of them in press without their even being a record out A few cdrs that were in circulation last year actually charted on cmj charts! They, along with their well respected crew, Atoms Family, have been making noise in the NYC underground hip hop scene since 1995. In the short time from 95-97 they have performed at every major hip hop venue in NYC with 98 marking the year that they would travel beyond the NY border to take the show on the road to Europe with Company Flow, Mr. Lif, and BMS on the “Little Johnny Tour”. Upon return from Europe, they showed no signs of slowing down their live performances, continuing to do shows in Chicago, Boston, New York, and other cities across the US. 

Their debut on wax came in 1999 on the CP Records compilation “Persecution of Hip Hop” on which Vast Aire delivered the song “Adversity Strikes” which many have declared a ‘classic’ and as a result has appeared on countless mix-tapes over the past 2 years. Vast Aire has also made a few guest appearances on other releases in the past few years, including but not limited to Aesop Rock’s LP “Float” (Mush Records). 

The a-side Iron Galaxy on the Company Flow/Cannibal Ox split is a visual ride through life in the city of NY where Vast delivers clever wordplay with lines like “you were a stillborn baby, mother didn’t want you but you were still born” and Vordul provides listeners with such vivid descriptions of life in the city that after one listen, you feel as if you experienced it yourself. 

2001 marks the year that Cannibal Ox and El P brings us “The Cold Vein” a no holds barred look at the lives of two Harlem youths. A life where “everyday is no frills, empty crills, empty 40 bottles and MC’s with skills”.


The F-Word
Released: September 2001
Format: CD, LP

The 2nd single from their smash debut, The Cold Vein, Harlem’s Finest return with the sleeper hit of the fall. Vast Aire and Vordul drop a B-Boy’s love song like you’ve never heard before. Like Outkast’s Ms. Jackson, The Pharcyde’s Passing Me By and Tupac’s Dear Mama, the F-Word is a song that anyone can relate to and is bound to reach even the hardest of hearts. Backed by the top-notch production of Def Jux impresario, El-P, and a phenomenal remix from Def Jux’s secret weapon, RJD2 (plus the bonus tracks Metal Gear and Life’s Ill feat. Breezly Brewin’ from legendary NYC crew Juggaknots), the F-Word is bound to be one of independent hip hop’s biggest hits this fall.

Track Listing:
The F-Word, Original Clean 
The F-Word, Orignal Inst. 
The F-Word, Remix Dirty 
Lifes Ill, Dirty 
Lifes Ill, Inst. 
Metal Gear 
The F-Word, Remix Instr. 

The Cold Vein
Released: May 2001

At long last, the long-awaited full length from Harlem’s finest, Cannibal Ox. Comprised of MC’s Vast Aire Kramer and Vordul, and featuring the un-paralleled production of indie hip hop maverick/legend El-P (Company Flow), The Cold Vein is bound for hip hop glory. Hide the women and children.

Track Listing:
Iron Galaxy 
Ox Out The Cage 
Atom Feat Cryptic and Alaska 
A B-Boy Alpha 
Raspberry Fields 
Straight Off The D.I.C. 
The F-Word 
Stress Rap 
Battle For Asgard Feat L.I.F.E. and C Rayz Walz 
Real Earth 
Ridiculoid Feat El-P 

Vein b/w A B-Boys Alpha
Released: April 2001

Track Listing:
Vein (Dirt) 
Vein (Instrumental) 
Vein (Scrub) 
A B-Boy’s Alpha (Dirt) 
A B-Boy’s Alpha (Instrumental) 
A B-Boy’s Alpha (Scrub) 

Company Flow/ Cannibal Ox 12
Released: January 2001
Format: 12

Track Listing:
Co-flow – DPA (As Seen on TV) 
Co-flow – Simian D AKA Feeling Ignorant – Feat Ill Bill Co-flow 
Cannibal Ox : Iron Galaxy 
Cannibal Ox: Straight of the DIC


At its worst, the Brainy hip-hop underground can be clinical, with rhymes as flat as the production; at its best, the subgenre’s lyrical abstractions and rhythmic complexities form new pathways between the head and heart. Taking cues from the New York underground avatars Company Flow, Harlem duo Cannibal Ox—produced by CoFlow lead man El-P—mix their bookishness with equal amounts of soul. MC’s Vast and Vordul flow heavenly, weather serenading a difficult muse on “The F-Word”: “Tell me to talk to the hand again/And I’ll read your palm”; or disseminating agro B-boy boasts on “Ox Out the Cage”: “Who wanna pop shit/And get popped in the top lip?” El-P’s beat arrhythmia and shimmering synth backdrops lend the duo;s words a heroic quality, but their rhymes are epic on their own. On “A B-Boys Alpha,” Vast considers the frailty of life: “My mother said, ‘You sucked my pussy when you came out/Don’t ever talk back/I handed you life and I’ll snatch it back.” Please, Mom don’t hurt them. 
— Rolling Stone

Vast and Vordul of Cannibal Ox are towering barbicans at the gate of intelli-thug hip hop, defending against and army of soulless internet rappers ready to storm the palace. The grinding minatory of El-P’s beats are the perfect backdrop for Can Ox’s pungent tales and amazingly this is just as compelling live. 

A Ballet of Chaos set to El-P’s lumbering beat science, Cannibal Ox’s the Cold Vein punches a hole through hip hop’s gut. Ample credit goes to Vast and Vordul’s brutacular verbal edge, but it’s the album’s sonics that make the lasting impression-el-p doesn’t just create a mood , he invents an entire universe of sounds that spans from angelic (Iron Galaxy) to utterly hellish (Raspberry Fields). 

Visit http://www.definitivejux.net/ for more information.

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