The Independent Juxtaposition

Def Jux reasserts its status as this decade's most important independent hip-hop label

The resulting album is perhaps the finest Def Jux release of 2005. Songs such as "Too Heavy for Cherubs" and "Peeranoia" effectively and realistically deal with Cage's drug addictions without glamorizing the lifestyle. And the DJ Shadow-produced "Grand Ol' Party Crash" is a scathing indictment of George Bush's presidency that features Dead Kennedy Jello Biafra offering up his best Dubya impression. But the album reaches its high point with "Stripes," where Cage recounts his harrowing childhood and a drug-addled military father.

"The album was cathartic to make," Cage recounts. "My previous work would be sprinkled with anecdotes from my past, but I oftentimes glorified things that didn't need to be glorified. This time around I did it very carefully. I didn't want sympathy; I didn't want to play the victim. It was difficult. But once I tried to be honest in my work, I realized that dishonesty had always been a big issue for me."

"Cage went through a pretty intense transition. He didn't change because he did the record, but one unlocks the other and it was pretty crazy to watch," El-P comments. "I'm proud of him. He risked alienating people who were really only looking to him for that one shtick. That's the kind of artist I want to work with."

El-P
El-P
Cage
Cage

Details

7:00 p.m. Friday, December 16, 305-635-2240. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door.
Polish American Club, 1250 NW 22nd Ave, Miami.

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