Posted May 17, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Run the Jewels’ El-P Reissues Influential Debut Album

El-P photo by Daniel Medhurst
El-P photo by Daniel Medhurst

Known today as one half of the rap duo Run the Jewels, rapper and producer El-P recently announced an extensive reissue campaign of his full solo catalog via Fat Possum Records. Earlier this year, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead appeared on streaming services for the very first time since its initial release in 2007. 

El-P digitally release his critically acclaimed and influential 2002 debut solo album, Fantastic Damage, for the first-time ever in conjunction with its 18th anniversary, 

Physical editions of both albums will arrive later this year.

Fantastic Damage, which came in the wake of El-P’s tenure in the hip-hop act Company Flow, marked the beginning of El-P’s career as a solo artist. It became a foundational release for his fledgling record label, Definitive Jux, which would issue solo records by El-P and label mates Aesop Rock, Cannibal Ox, RJD2, Murs, and more. The album has been widely unavailable since El-P put Def Jux on hiatus in 2010.

“This album is raw and noisy and fucked up and exactly how I felt when I made it,” states El-P in a press release. “It’s the first time I ever tried to tackle a whole record on my own all those years ago. It was produced and recorded and mixed in my bedroom/studio in the apartment in Brooklyn I lived in at the time, right around the year 2000. It’s not where I am now but it is a moment that really meant something to me and it’s a huge part of my DNA as an artist, so I’m glad to finally be able to get it back out there. Not only for those who knew it and missed its presence but for anyone who may have not known about it before now. I hope you enjoy this and thanks for all the amazing support over the years. I love doing what I do and I live to keep pushing forward. Fantastic Damage is, in a lot of ways, the start of all of it.”

The album precedes El-P’s original score for the feature film Capone and the forthcoming new Run The Jewels album, RTJ4.

Photo: El-P by Daniel Medhurst


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].