I still don’t own the LP for CanOx’s album The Cold Vein, and I probably won’t until they repress it. However, I did pick this up years ago and it does have one of my favorite tracks on Side B, Life’s Ill.
While the really great podcast on Stony Island Audio called Dad Bod Rap Pod spoke with Vast Aire recently around the 20th anniversary of the album, and Metal Gear came up as a true B-side as it never appeared on an album, it’s still too much a prototype track for me to enjoy. Life’s Ill, however, ticks all of the boxes. It’s flowing, natural, with a groove. It’s followed immediately by the instrumental version, which is entertaining in and of itself because you can more easily hear El-P’s production subtleties. Wonderful.