By Bogar Alonso | Vast Aire and Vordul Mega have returned to their calling. The Cannibal Ox duo recently confirmed a show for December 9th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. In addition, a follow-up to the group's classic debut, The Cold Vein , is also in the works a whole 11.5 yrs after the fact. To commemorate the momentous news, we've dug up a little cinematic treat: an untitled, somewhat under the radar Cannibal Ox-centered 2002 Dutch documentary about the group's celebrated original label, Definitive Jux .
El-P 's Definitive Jux label ― let's not call it Def Jux for fear of getting sued by Uncle Rush ― was home to masters of the fringe. Operating on an indie level, and pushing forth a brand of uncompromising "nerd rap," the Jux was as important to hip-hop in its own unique way as the Jam. Filmmakers Sarah Vos, Benito Strangio and Kees de Groot, present a raw but intimate portrait of this crew, capturing El-Producto and the boys (Aesop Rock, Vast Aire, C. Rayz Wallz) getting just a little bit high and a whole lot philosophical over 33 compelling minutes.
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We start in 2002 at El-P's apartment where he proceeds to warn us that WW3 is here, and we're all "going to die!" DJ Abilities makes a brief cameo (playing video games). Vast Aire explains the relativity of time through the eyes of poor folk ("The day is long when you're poor. When you're a poor person 24 hours is like 10 years."), speaking with more flow than some rappers have in their veins.
MTV gets bashed by Vast Aire and Jestone Art. On the topic of science fiction, El-P drops some mad knowledge on the state of the U.S. post-9/11. Mr. Lif and El-P interrupt Aesop Rock as he pours out his heart.
Vast Aire professes his love for poetry, opens up his notebook for a brief recitation. Fittingly, El-P calls rappers "the writers of our generation... these are the new authors." The doc ends as it began: with an apartment full of genre-disruptors kickin' it in the midst of their own genius.