Cage - Hell's Winter

There was a superfluity of hardcore-for-hardcore's-sake in the rap world of the 2000s, and more often than not it came across as tired. One notable exception is Hell's Winter, the 2005 Definitive Jux debut by hip-hop upstart Cage. Everything from Cage's agro drawl to his personally and politically incisive lyrics to his beats (courtesy of several high-profile Def Jux members, including RJD2 and El-P) says that he means business.

Cage documents the traumas of his upbringing and the intensity of his adult life with vivid and compelling verbal skill. Whether laying down disconcertingly honest confessionals about his family ("Stripes") or weighing in viciously against the Bush administration ("Grand Ol Party Crash," which features beats by DJ Shadow and a cameo by punk icon Jello Biafra as George W.), Cage takes aim and doesn't let up. While the emotional and sonic relentlessness of Hell's WInter might be a lot to swallow in one sitting, the album proves rewarding with repeated listens.

01. Good Morning (Prod. by EL-P)
02. Too Heavy For Cherubs (Prod. by Blockhead)
03. Grand Ol' Party Crash feat. Jello Biaffra (Prod. by DJ Shadow)
04. The Death Of Chris Palko feat. Camu Tao (Prod. by Camu Tao & EL-P)
05. Stripes (Prod. by Blockhead & EL-P)
06. Shoot Frank feat. Daryl Palumbo (Prod. by RJD2)
07. Scenester (Prod. by Blockhead)
08. Perfect world (Prod. by EL-P & Camu Tao)
09. Subtle Art Of The Breakup Song (Prod. by EL-P)
10. Peeranoia (Prod. by Pawl)
11. Weathermen Gang feat. Aesop Rock, EL-P, Tame & Yak Ballz (Prod. by EL-P & Camu Tao)
12. Public Property (Prod. by Camu Tao)
13. Lord Have Mercy (Prod. by EL-P)
14. Hell’s Winter (Prod. by EL-P)




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