El-P live at Irving Plaza, February 10, 2007
|Birth name||Jaime Meline|
|Also known as||El-Producto, Lazerface|
|Born||March 2, 1975|
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York City, United States|
|Associated acts||Company Flow, Central Services, The Weathermen, Aesop Rock, Cannibal Ox, Das Racist, Killer Mike, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Despot, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire|
Definitive Jux - Bio
Jaime Meline (born March 2, 1975), known as El-P (originally El Producto) is an American hip hop artist and entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York City. Originally a member of Company Flow, El-P has been a major driving force in alternative hip hop for over a decade. He is the co-founder, owner and CEO of the Definitive Jux record label. El-P is also a member of the Weathermen and art collective Cardboard City.
The son of jazz pianist Harry Keys (born Harry Meline), El-P became involved with the hip hop culture of New York City at an early age. After being expelled from several schools for problems with authority, Meline decided to pursue a career in music. At his 18th birthday party, he met Mr. Len, whom he had hired as a DJ for the night. The two quickly became friends and formed Company Flow in 1993. They released their first vinyl single, "Juvenile Techniques", in 1993. Bigg Jus later complemented the group and in 1996 the trio released its debut EP, Funcrusher. Subject to a major-label bidding war after the success of the EP, Company Flow waited until it could get a contract on its own terms. The group eventually signed with Rawkus Records, and released its debut full-length album, Funcrusher Plus (1997).
After an instrumental album called Little Johnny From the Hospitul: Breaks & Instrumentals Vol.1 (1999), also on Rawkus, disagreements between El-P and the label led to Company Flow leaving Rawkus. El-P then decided to start his own record label, Definitive Jux (known informally as Def Jux, and extra-formally as Definitive Juxtapositions), and because of critically acclaimed albums such as Cannibal Ox's The Cold Vein (produced by El-P) and Aesop Rock's Labor Days, the label quickly rose to prominence.
Company Flow dissolved amicably in 2001 and the following year El-P released his debut solo album, Fantastic Damage, to wide critical acclaim. In 2004, El-P collaborated with the Blue Series Continuum for a jazz-fusion album titled High Water, which received favorable reviews from both the hip hop and jazz worlds, as well as from more mainstream critics independent of both scenes. 2005 saw the release of Collecting the Kid, an odds-and-ends assortment including work from High Water and Bomb The System, in addition to several songs of unknown provenance. El-P's second proper studio album, I'll Sleep When You're Dead, was released on March 20, 2007. It generally received very favorable reviews and became El-P's most commercially successful album to date, peaking at #78 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
In October 2009, El-P announced that he was working on his third studio album, tentatively titled Cancer For Cure. In August 2011, it was announced that El-P signed with Fat Possum Records, which would be releasing Cancer For Cure. Later that month, El-P also released a single off the upcoming album, via the Adult Swim Singles program. The track is titled "Drones Over BKLYN." El-P announced on his Facebook page that Cancer For Cure was officially complete on February 22, 2012.
El-P also was a part of a group Central Services, which consisted of El-P, Camu Tao, and Allysin Baker. In the fall of 2010, the EP Forever Frozen in Television Time was released exclusively on the Def Jux digital download service.
El-P has contributed productions and guest rhymes to albums by Aesop Rock, Evil Nine, DJ Krush, Murs, Cage, Mr. Lif, Prefuse 73, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Mike Ladd, The High and Mighty, Jedi Mind Tricks, Aceyalone, Atmosphere, Techno Animal, and Das Racist. He collaborated with Alec Empire on the first Handsome Boy Modeling School album and with Cage and Chino Moreno on the second. He was selected, along with DJ Shadow, to work on Rage Against the Machine frontman Zach de la Rocha's solo album (which never materialized). He has provided remixes for the likes of Beans (of Anti-Pop Consortium), Beck, Blackalicious, Head Automatica, Hot Hot Heat, Dizzee Rascal, Syd Matters, Nine Inch Nails, Push Button Objects, Rob Sonic, TV on the Radio, and Yasushilde, among others. El-P also provided the soundtrack for the graffiti film Bomb the System.
As a rapper, El-P's style can be characterized by his dense, aggressive, and verbose attacks, which include notable use of metaphor, science fiction and fantasy themes and references, and associative word play. Critic Steve Huey describes him as "one of the most technically gifted MCs of his time, spitting out near-impossible phrases and rhythmic variations that simply leave the listener's head spinning." 
El-P is a fan of science fiction, notably writer Philip K. Dick, and many of Dick's themes, such as paranoia and questions about the nature of reality, feature in El-P's work. References to George Orwell, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek spin-off Deep Space 9 sit comfortably alongside more traditional rap references, such as to the likes of LL Cool J and Boogie Down Productions.
As a producer, Meline is notable for his innovative mix of bleak futurism and low fidelity sounds. His dense, claustrophobic sounds are strongly influenced by Public Enemy's production team, The Bomb Squad, as well as other electronic artists like Art of Noise and Nine Inch Nails.
2004's High Water was a radical departure, pitting El-P's beats and production against a jazz band under the direction of pianist Matthew Shipp, a fan of El-P's music. In an interview with Shipp, Meline stated:
|“||First and foremost, I wanted to do it because it scared the shit out of me ... And when I get offered the chance to be involved with something that scares me, I usually do it, because I'm trying to learn, I'm trying to understand music as much as I can, to become a better musician in general and work in different capacities.||”|
El-P has done some work as a DJ. In November 2004, he spun alongside Peanut Butter Wolf at a small Chicago club named Sonotheque. Also, in the summer of 2005, at the Intonation Festival hosted by Pitchfork Media, El-P did a short DJ set alongside Yo La Tengo member James McNew, both denizens of the same apartment complex in Brooklyn. He also did an all instrumental set in 2010 at the Low End theory in Los Angeles.
Solo studio albums
- Fantastic Damage (Definitive Jux - 2002)
- High Water (Thirsty Ear - 2004)
- I'll Sleep When You're Dead (Definitive Jux - 2007)
- Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possum Records - 2012)
- El-P Presents Cannibal Oxtrumentals (instrumental version of the 2001 Cannibal Ox album The Cold Vein) (Definitive Jux - 2002)
- FanDam Plus: Instrumentals, Remixes, Lyrics & Video (Definitive Jux - 2002)
- Collecting the Kid (Definitive Jux - 2004)
- The Cold Vein with Cannibal Ox (Definitive Jux - 2001)
- R.A.P. Music with Killer Mike (Williams Street - 2012)
- Run the Jewels with Killer Mike as Run the Jewels (2013)
- Weareallgoingtoburninhell (Definitive Jux - 2003), A limited release only sold at shows and was said to have been recorded by the New York native shortly after September 11.
- Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixx2 (Definitive Jux - 2008), A limited release only sold at the No Chiefs Allowed tour with Dizzee Rascal and Busdriver.
- Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 (Gold Dust - August 2010)
- "allmusic ((( El-P > Biography )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- "El-P Biography at DefinitiveJux.net (old)". 2002. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- "El-P Biography at DefinitiveJux.net (current)". 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- allmusic ((( Fantastic Damage > Overview )))
- Listen: El-P and Killer Mike Introduce New Project Run the Jewels http://pitchfork.com/news/50254-listen-el-p-and-killer-mike-introduce-new-project-run-the-jewels/
- El-P and Killer Mike Are Run the Jewels, Nearly Finished With Collabo LP http://www.spin.com/#articles/el-p-killer-mike-run-the-jewels-duo-album?utm_source=spintwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=spintwitter
- Definitive Jux - Official Website
- Definitive Jux - Bio
- El-P's Management team - World's Fair
- El-P on Myspace
- EL-P megamixxx3 microsite
- "Cut to the Chase: El-P's Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 (Gold Dust)" at Bluefat