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I'll Sleep When You're Dead

I'll Sleep When You're Dead is the second solo studio album by American hip hop artist El-P. It was released through Definitive Jux on March 20, 2007. It peaked at number 78 on the Billboard 200 chart,[1] selling about 11,000 copies in its first week.[2] Music videos were created for "Flyentology"[3] and "Smithereens".[4]

I'll Sleep When You're Dead
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 20, 2007 (2007-03-20)
GenreHip hop
LabelDefinitive Jux
ProducerEl-P, Trent Reznor
El-P chronology
Collecting the Kid
I'll Sleep When You're Dead
Cancer 4 Cure
Singles from I'll Sleep When You're Dead
  1. "Everything Must Go"
    Released: 2006
  2. "Flyentology"
    Released: 2007


Despite his usual dislike of "records that have a bunch of (featuring so and so) after every song title",[5] El-P has explained the more organic nature of the collaborations on I'll Sleep When You're Dead:

My collaborations for the most part come from friendships I have with people who happen to be in the vicinity while I'm making my shit. Little splashes of other peoples voices, talents, energy used in subtle ways is the way I usually like to freak it. Rob does some back ups, Sweeny plays some guitar, Aes drops a verse, James plays some bass... whatever works at the time. It's the South Park theory: when George Clooney appeared on South Park it was as a gay dog. That's the type of shit that makes my day.[5]

El-P has compared the overall sound of the album's music to "a psychedelic Boogie Down Productions record", and like "Scott LaRock and Ced Gee take acid".[6]

The bird on the album's cover is based on a drawing that Alexander Calder made on a wooden toy airplane for El-P as a child.[7]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [9]
The A.V. ClubB[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[11]
The Guardian     [12]
The Independent     [13]
Rolling Stone     [16]
Spin     [17]
Uncut     [18]

At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

John Bush of AllMusic gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5, calling it "one of the most powerful hip-hop albums of 2007."[9] Dave Heaton of PopMatters gave the album 8 stars out of 10, saying: "The genius of I'll Sleep When You're Dead -- and the reason it deserves to be considered as a progressive step in El-P's journey as an artist -- is that the tracks are just as dense and complex as on his other albums, but in a new, fresh way."[19] Andy Battaglia of The A.V. Club gave the album a grade of B, saying, "nobody makes hip-hop as textured and atmospheric as El-P, and he manages to temper his disorienting noise with soulful suggestions this time out."[10]

Consequence of Sound placed it at number 42 on the "Top 50 Albums of 2007" list.[20]

Track listingEdit

1."Tasmanian Pain Coaster" (featuring Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala)6:56
2."Smithereens (Stop Cryin)"4:34
3."Up All Night"2:38
6."Dear Sirs"1:34
7."Run the Numbers" (featuring Aesop Rock)4:43
8."Habeas Corpses (Draconian Love)" (featuring Cage)4:36
9."The Overly Dramatic Truth"4:32
10."Flyentology" (featuring Trent Reznor)4:03
11."No Kings"3:07
12."The League of Extraordinary Nobodies"2:36
13."Poisenville Kids No Wins / Reprise (This Must Be Our Time)" (featuring Chan "Cat Power" Marshall)7:00


Credits adapted from liner notes.


Chart (2007) Peak
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[21] 10
US Billboard 200[1] 78
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[22] 6
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[23] 55


  1. ^ a b "El-P: Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Hasty, Katie (March 28, 2007). "Modest Mouse Steers Its 'Ship' To No. 1 Debut". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Watercutter, Angela (February 27, 2007). "Lords of the Fly". Wired. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "El-P". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "I'll Sleep When You're Dead Blog - a brief list of some of the people who appear in some form on my record..."
  6. ^ "I'll Sleep When You're Dead Blog - SCOTT LAROCK AND CED GEE TAKE ACID".
  7. ^ Christopher, Roy (March 15, 2007). "El-P: Wake Up. Time to Die". Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "I'll Sleep When You're Dead by El-P". Metacritic. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Bush, John. "I'll Sleep When You're Dead – El-P". AllMusic. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Battaglia, Andy (March 27, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (March 16, 2007). "I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  12. ^ Batey, Angus (March 16, 2007). "El-P, I'll Sleep When You're Dead". The Guardian. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  13. ^ Gill, Andy (March 16, 2007). "Album: El-P". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 28, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  14. ^ Miller, Alex (March 16, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". NME. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  15. ^ Chennault, Sam (March 16, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Hoard, Christian (March 20, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  17. ^ Ryan, Chris (March 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Spin. 23 (3): 91–94. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  18. ^ "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Uncut (119): 99. April 2007.
  19. ^ Heaton, Dave (April 12, 2007). "El-P: Ill Sleep When Youre Dead". PopMatters. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  20. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2007 (page 3 of 12)". Consequence of Sound. January 23, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  21. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40: 25 March 2007 - 31 March 2007". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  22. ^ "El-P: Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "El-P: Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.

External linksEdit