In hindsight, 2002 was a fairly entertaining year for rap album releases. The Roots blessed us with their fifth album, Phrenology. Eminem gave us both The Eminem Show and the 8 Mile soundtrack, while 50 Cent, J-Live, Nas, the Clipse and The X-Ecutioners spoiled us with stellar albums of their own.
While Come Home With Me marked Killa Cam’s third project overall, and his first debut on Roc-A-Fella Records after signing with the label a year prior, Fantastic Damage is notable as El Producto’s first solo album following the amicable disbanding of his group Company Flow, and in the wake of a crumbling relationship with Rawkus Records.
Although each album featured stark contrasts in sound and style, the one theme that tied them together was solidarity; standing in unison in the aftermath of a tragic event which shifted the balance of the entire world in a single day: September 11, 2001.
While Come Home With Me employed a more lighthearted tone, perhaps to mask the anguish and heartbreak New York City was still feeling at the time, Fantastic Damage brazenly tore that mask off, deciding to confront tragedy head-on, favoring a more apocalyptic sound, which more than likely mirrored the sentiments some New Yorkers and backpackers were still experiencing.
Despite the glaring differences in both albums: the low fidelity sounds of Fantastic Damage, wrought with a sense of dread and paranoia, and Come Home With Me, shaped by its more pop-friendly tone, thanks in part to Hip-Hop’s shifting dynamics at the time, the pair of albums are still considered pillars of the culture, astern of a transformative and destructive attack on America’s values.
Fans who have been searching for a fresh, unsealed copy of El-Producto’s elusive solo debut will be happy to know that, as of a few years ago, he received his entire back catalog from his old distributor, with intentions of making them “all available for release again this year if possible,” although he says he hasn’t quite had the time to start the process. El-P also states the back catalog could include 2007’s I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, 2004’s Collecting the Kid and High Water and “hopefully” Funcrusher Plus.
ill admit though i kinda like the idea of the past fading away and being something you have to investigate and hunt after.
— el-p (@therealelp) May 14, 2017
El-P – “DeLorean” f. Aesop Rock & Ill Bill
Cam’ron – “Losing Weight, Pt. 2” f. Juelz Santana