Photo by Mike Lavin

El-P is many things to many people – producer extraordinaire, independent rap pioneer, deli owner, friend of cats, social commentator, high as fuck Twitter user… the list goes on. He’s also got some really strong insults. A good insult is as much a part of rap as bad spelling and squatting in photos, and there have been many purveyors of quality disses over the years.
For me though, El-P has always been a cut above the rest. Maybe it’s the ferocity of some of his insults, maybe it’s the comedic violence or maybe it’s just the bizarre silliness, but for some reason his have always stood out the most. What I have here is a compilation of MY top five, I stress the word ‘my’ cos I know how internet strangers love to tell other strangers their opinion is wrong. Also research was a bitch. You know how many tracks El-P’s appeared on? Man. Anyway, here we go (in no order):

1. Killer Mike ft. El-P – Butane (Champion’s Anthem): “Yo, I’m a Grinch with a grin, I will shit on your kids”
Make no mistake about it, El-P is saying he will defecate on your offspring and he will likely be happy about the fact too. That should give you some idea of who we’re dealing with here.

2. Aesop Rock ft. El-P – We’re Famous: “So when I battled in basements I had eight sentences waiting,
Way before the four you had laced in”
One of the first things that drew me to Company Flow was their next level wordplay and this bar from the Bazooka Tooth LP always reminded me of those early days. This isn’t as insulting as some, but the wordplay and the nature of the diss were always favourites of mine.

3. Masterminds ft. El-P – Seven: “You’re soft as Pikachu on roofies in a bathtub.”
I mean come on.

4. Panther Like a Panther – Run the Jewels: “Give me a ten, and I’ll double, I’ll split your face like some aces/I got a fragrance I’m wearing called, ‘I will shit on you basics.'”
Eloquence is a major player in all El’s raps and while anyone who found themselves on the receiving end of a threat like this would probably be shaken, I’m still keen to know what that scent would actually smell like.

5. Oh Hail No – El-P ft. eXquire & Danny Brown: “Ever notice when you talk I just cut myself? On some ultimate fuck you, go fuck yourself/Like that was so heartfelt, you really touched yourself. I loved the part where you cried, I liked nothing else”
Not only a favourite insult of mine, this is among my favourite ever opening lines to any song. He was on a track with eXquire and Danny Brown so he knew the levels were going to be high, so he went into all out emo-hate-fuck-you-buddy mode.

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