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Why We Picked El-P's 'I'll Sleep When You're Dead' As This Month’s Rap Record Of The Month

On November 26, 2019

In February, members of Vinyl Me, Please Rap & Hip-Hop will receive I'll Sleep When You're Dead, the thrilling sophomore album from legendary underground MC, El-P. Our edition of the album serves as the deluxe edition for a wider reissue of El-P's catalog on vinyl this year, and ours comes in a heavyweight gatefold jacket, on 2LP black and red marbled vinyl, with a stencil insert. You can read below for why we picked this record, and sign up here.

Why We Picked This

Andrew Winistorfer: This record came out in that peak post-Bush era when people were realizing how fucked up the country became during his 8 years. This album really captures the nervous paranoia that people felt; it was also when the Internet was emerging, and folks were considering that maybe it’s not good for you. (Maybe Facebook is stealing your personal data!) That’s what I think about when I think about this record: it really sounds like 2007 felt, and still feels very current today. There are songs about the surveillance state, about how you’re not in control of anything when you’re on the computer, worrying about being killed for no reason… It's a very prescient album that captures many themes that will always feel current.

It was such a huge revelation when it came out: El-P was running Def Jux for a few years there, and hadn’t made another solo album, this is only his second one. It kinda came outta nowhere, and was such a complex and knotty, deep album. When the opportunity came up from Fat Possum doing reissues of his catalog, we jumped at the opportunity to work with them both to do the deluxe version reissue of this album, since it's such an important album in El-P's career, in Def Jux's history as a label, and in underground rap. It came out at that last period before rap really was the biggest music in the world, and rappers like El-P could be a big deal.

Package Details

It’s on black and red vinyl, double LP, 45 RPM. It’s going to be the deluxe version of this reissue. Funny story about the stencil on this: I’ve listened to this album a bunch since 2007, and I had no idea the cover was actually a bird until they made the stencil. I was like, “Wait… there’s a bird on the cover.” I thought it was just an exploding red thing, and I didn’t know until they showed us the proof!


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