First, let me tell you why I was asked to review El-P’s show at the El Rey. It’s because I will gnaw at your ear with a vehement stance and scrutiny of hip-hop, its past, present and future. My subjectivity is guided by the recent words of Thavis Beck (half of Labwaste) who said on his last album, “Are you building or are you leeching?”

Are you correcting and furthering the present wrongs that exist in the ugly genre of hip-hop and pop music and making an earnest sound with some intelligence? Are you building for hip-hop? Since Company Flow, El-P has been a mason, surveyor and an architect.

DJ Dibbs started the show with Gary Jules singing “Mad World.” Unconventional intro, I’m on board, ready for a show.

El-P and DJ Dibbs hypnotized the crowd with tracks from I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and Fantastic Damage. El-P played his new songs “Tasmanian Pain Coaster,” “The Numbers,” “Reprise” and rewarded fans of Fantastic Damage with “9mm” and “Step Father Factory.” Then he gave us a gift with “Vital Nerve.”

El-P is a heavy and relevant MC. He’s also a humble MC who can balance the inherent boasting that is being an MC with a human approach, and he can flow better than anyone you know.

The bottom line is that if you have the chance to catch El-P or get his new album, do both. If you are losing faith in hip-hop or curious what hip-hop to listen to, EL-P is your man.