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El-P Biography

Home > Music > E > El-P > Biography

Birth Name: Jaime Meline
Born: 1975/03/02
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York City, United States
Years Active: 1993 - Present
Genres: Hip Hop

El-P (originally known as El Producto, born Jaime Meline, March 2, 1975) is an American hip hop artist and entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York City. Originally a member of Company Flow, El-P has been a major driving force in alternative hip hop for over a decade. He is the co-founder, owner and CEO of the Definitive Jux record label. El-P is also a member of the Weathermen and art collective Cardboard City.

The son of Jazz pianist Harry Keys (born Harry Meline), El-P became involved with the hip hop culture of New York City at an early age. After being expelled from several schools for problems with authority, Meline decided to pursue a career in music. At his 18th birthday party, he met Mr. Len, whom he had hired as a DJ for the night. The two quickly became friends and formed Company Flow in 1993. They released their first vinyl single, “Juvenile Techniques,” in 1993. Bigg Jus later complemented the group and in 1996 the trio released its debut EP, “Funcrusher.” Subject to a major-label bidding war after the success of the EP, Company Flow waited until it could get a contract on its own terms. The group eventually signed with Rawkus Records, and in 1997 released its debut full-length album, “Funcrusher Plus.”

After a 1999 instrumental album called “Little Johnny From the Hospitul: Breaks & Instrumentals Vol.1,” also on Rawkus, disagreements between El-P and the label led to Company Flow leaving Rawkus. El-P then decided to start his own record label, Definitive Jux.

Company Flow dissolved amicably in 2001 and the following year El-P released his debut solo album, “Fantastic Damage,” to wide critical acclaim. In 2004, El-P collaborated with the Blue Series Continuum for a jazz-fusion album titled “High Water,” which received favorable reviews from both the hip hop and jazz worlds, as well as from more mainstream critics independent of both scenes.

2005 saw the release of “Collecting the Kid,” a compilation including work from “High Water” and “Bomb The System,” in addition to several new songs. El-P's second proper studio album, “I'll Sleep When You're Dead,” was released in 2007. It generally received favorable reviews and became El-P's most commercially successful album to date, peaking at #78 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums chart.

In October 2009, El-P announced that he was working on his third studio album, tentatively titled Cancer For Cure.[2] In August 2011, it was announced that El-P had signed to Fat Possum Records, which would be releasing Cancer For Cure. Later that month, El-P also released a single “Drones Over BKLYN,” off the upcoming album, via the Adult Swim Singles program. “Cancer For Cure” was released in 2012.