Click here to expand and collapse the player

The Cold Vein

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (389 ratings)
The Cold Vein album cover
Iron Galaxy
5:56   $0.99
Ox Out The Cage
3:28   $0.99
Artist: Cannibal Ox feat. Alaska and Cryptic
5:52   $0.99
A B-Boy's Alpha
4:27   $0.99
Rasberry Fields
4:01   $0.99
Straight Off The DIC
4:17   $0.99
4:27   $0.99
The F Word
5:27   $0.99
Stress Rap
5:31   $0.99
Battle For Asgard
Artist: Cannibal Ox feat. C-Rayz Walz and LIFE long
4:26   $0.99
Real Earth
3:57   $0.99
Artist: Cannibal Ox feat. El-P
4:46   $0.99
5:58   $0.99
6:10   $0.99
Scream Phoenix
5:05   $0.99
Album Information

Total Tracks: 15   Total Length: 73:48

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Wondering Sound

Review 110

Hua Hsu


Hua Hsu edits the hip-hop section of URB Magazine and writes about music, culture and politics for Slate, the Village Voice, The Wire and various other magazine...more »

Cannibal Ox, The Cold Vein
2001 | Label: Definitive Jux / The Orchard

The enduring idea of a hip-hop underground relies on our faith in the entrepreneurial spirit. Nobody wants a boss, and this is part of what compelled El-P to leave Rawkus in the late 1990s and form his own label, Definitive Jux, future home of Aesop Rock, Cage, Mr. Lif, Murs and others. He poured himself into the label’s first album, the debut from Harlem rappers Vast Aire and Vordul Mega. The Cold Vein remains an… read more »

Write a Review 13 Member Reviews

Please register before you review a release. Register

user avatar

This Album Will Ruin Your Life


It's hard to get up in the morning these days, because I know that no matter what happens, no one will ever again put out an album as good as The Cold Vein.

user avatar

give it some spin


To me this is one of the greatest hip hop albums ever. The record needs some time to sink but it is definately worth every second

user avatar

Best Album of all time


Front to back without skipping a track everytime for 8 years now. The perfect album

user avatar



The only thing bad about this album is that Cannibal Ox didn't release another one.

user avatar

Joseph+mary= holy F*#K!


this album is Incredible! lyrics, production, it's shockingly good.

user avatar

Slow burn


I agree that glorybox is perhaps a little harsh where this album is concerned. I love it, but nothing hooked me on the first listen besides iron galaxy, vein and straight off the d.i.c. If you do get this record, make sure you put in some effort on the first couple spins. You'll be glad you did, and maybe you'll see how silly it is to write it off after just one.

user avatar

Out your mind...


'Glorywhateveryourname' had his mind sucked out after sticking 'it' in a glory hole, and is now incapable of offering opinions of value. I bought this album in 2001, it was ground-breaking then, with original self-made beats, and a delivery of lyrics that couldn't be bettered by a UPS man of the year, and still amazes me seven years later. If you do not like this album, you do not know hip-hop for what it truly is. Five MEGA stars. Thanks 'Ox'.

user avatar



that guy is an idiot that doesn't like this...he probably like 50 cent and his sweet rhymes...lol....these are some awesome lyrics....the little clips dont do him justice

eMusic Features


Lords of the Underground: A Guide to Underground Hip-Hop

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

"Underground" is one of those tantalizingly vague terms that's always on the verge of obsolescence until some mouthy, hungry new rapper comes along and reanimates it. Whether it was being dismissed as a fad, derided as a menace to society or ascending the pop charts, there's always been a distinct way in which hip-hop has represented its underground ethos — the long-repressed reality straight from America's cities on one hand, or a new set of… more »


The Outer Limits: Kool Keith and the Ultramagnetic MCs

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

It was 1988 and space was, indeed, the final frontier. A brief history of rap until that moment might have read like this: first they toasted, then they shouted. Next came the couplets and syllables, uttered coolly, so as not to break a sweat. And then crash-landed the Ultramagnetic MCs - a band of brothers from another planet who came to reset the system. Why rhyme when you could fly in style? High school friends Kool… more »

They Say All Music Guide

While it can be said that many underground crews have been floundering in the gray matter of indie hip-hop, Cannibal Ox filled that area in with 2001′s The Cold Vein for El P’s Def Jux imprint. The music press had been quick to point out that Vast Aire and Vordul Megilah’s attack is at times highly derivative of the Wu Tang Clan, and the point is valid. Thankfully, El P (a serious candidate for producer of the year) lays out some of the most lushly intriguing sounds and beats that feel as herky-jerky as they sound gilded with silk. It’s a bit misleading to harp on the Wu factor that The Cold Vein contains since this record’s content is immensely original and the Wu references that seem present are in the enlightened gloomy flow and psychedelic backdrops — not, (with all due respect) in the kitschy hooks and unfocused rhymes that Wu Tang are also known for. Aire and Megilah swirl around in b-boy posturing and obtuse nonsense as their innovation rears its head at every corner with scatter-shot lines like: “And I ain’t dealin’ with no minimum wage/I’d rather construct rhymes on a minimum page,” and “You were a still-born baby, your mother didn’t want you but you were still-born.” While there’s not a throwaway track per se, the album’s length does run a bit long (at least they didn’t make it into a double CD as a lot of rap acts have been known to do). To their immense credit, Cannibal Ox and El P have assembled one of the most listenable hip-hop albums in far too long. Headz be aware: Independent hip-hop has a new voice and this is your beat fix for 2001. – Sam Samuelson

more »