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Depart from Me
Studio album by Cage
Released July 7, 2009
Genre Horrorcore, rap rock
Label Definitive Jux
Professional reviews
Cage chronology
Hell's Winter
Depart from Me

Depart from Me is the third studio album by American rapper Chris Palko, better known by his stage name Cage. Released on July 7, 2009, it is the rapper's second studio album on Definitive Jux.




Palko describes Depart from Me as being "an exorcism of sorts", stating that it is more personal than previous albums.[2] Palko states that the album's lyrics do not focus on social commentary, but instead deal with life and "things that people can relate to".[2] The album continues from the lyrical direction of Hell's Winter and distancing himself from the persona featured on Movies for the Blind. Palko felt that since becoming a father, he no longer wished to write the same type of lyrical content as he had in the past.[2] Palko stated that "if people can't understand that, that's good, because I don't want to make music for assholes."[2] While Hell's Winter deals with personal change, Depart from Me deals with the difficulty of implementing these changes.[2]

Describing the recording process, Palko remembers that El-P had been working on a track, and Palko soon thought of a hook that would fit the song, and recorded its freestyle lyrics on the couch. El-P and Palko later decided not to record a studio take of the track "because it just had a vibe to it. I was out of my mind. I might as well have been a blind man being walked in front of a microphone. I was just out of it."[3]


According to Palko, the music of Depart from Me does not rely on sampling, and instead features a guitar and synthesizer-oriented sound.[2] Palko describes the album as incorporating pop influences while keeping an "indie sensibility".[2] Palko states that he wanted to produce music that would appeal to a larger audience.[2] Describing the album as rap rock, Palko states that he did not intend to produce an album that would replicate early fusion attempts, or more recent, popular acts within the genre, but to incorporate elements of more diverse influences.[4] According to Palko:

"Friends of mine who make music [would say,] 'Listen to this group. It’s awesome' and instead of taking something from the music and being inspired by it, instead in hip-hop it’s 'I’m sample this.' Plagiarize and take the lyrics. [...] We were just fusing weird things that hadn’t been done before, so the blueprint to everything was to do what no one else was doing. I had no idea if any of it was going to work. In the beginning, I was terrified to release the music and then that ended up being, if I’m not terrified or at least somewhat scared to release [it], then I didn’t take any risk."[4]

Palko describes the album's title track as being similar to Nine Inch Nails because guitarist Sean Martin had been listening to the band heavily during the production of the album.[4]

Thomas Golianopoulos, of Spin Magazine, has stated that "... [Depart From Me] is the most seamless, compelling union of hip-hop and modern rock since the two genres first collided".


The first music video from the album, "I Never Knew You", debuted on May 18, 2009.[5][6] The video was directed by Shia LaBeouf, and features actor Dan Byrd following a woman played by Scarlett Kapella.[5][6] The video was shot on location in downtown Los Angeles on February 21 and 22, and featured cameos from LaBeouf, Alex Pardee, and Definitive Jux artists such as El-P, Aesop Rock, Chauncey, F. Sean Martin and Yak Ballz.[7]

On May 18, 2009, Palko released the extended play I Never Knew You as a digital download. The EP featured five tracks, including "I Never Knew You", which will appear on Depart from Me.[8][9]

Depart from Me was initially announced as being scheduled for a June 29 release.[8] The album was released as a digital download, and in deluxe editions on compact disc and vinyl.[10]

Track listing

Track Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Nothing Left To Say"   El-P, additional guitar by Sean Martin 4:28
2. "Beat Kids" (featuring Red Bank Kids Choir) Sean "F. Sean" Martin 3:32
3. "Dr. Strong"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin, drum programming by Tero Smith 3:19
4. "I Found My Mind In Connecticut"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin 4:20
5. "I Lost It In Havertown"   El-P 1:36
6. "Teenage Hands"   Cage & El-P, guitar by Sean Martin 1:47
7. "Eating Its Way Out Of Me"   El-P 3:57
8. "Kick Rocks"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin 2:09
9. "Captain Bumout"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin, guitars by Phil Caivano 2:55
10. "Strain"   Aesop Rock, guitars by Allison Bavitz 3:39
11. "Fat Kids Need An Anthem"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin 2:19
12. "Look At What You Did"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin 3:03
13. "Depart From Me..."   Sean "F. Sean" Martin 4:49
14. "I Never Knew You"   Sean "F. Sean" Martin 4:17
15. "Hugs and Kisses" (iTunes exclusive) Sean "F. Sean" Martin 2:10


Information taken from Allmusic.[11]


  • Allison Bavitz — guitar
  • Philip Caivano — guitar, engineer
  • Sean Martin — guitar, executive producer
  • Red Band Kids Choir — children's chorus

Additional personnel

  • Aesop Rock — producer, backing vocals on "Strain"
  • El-P — producer
  • Monster Man - producer
  • Dave Ogilvie — mixing
  • Chris Palko — executive producer
  • Alex Pardee — artwork, design
  • Joey "JR" Raia — mixing
  • Michael Sarsfield — mastering
  • Daryl Palumbo - production


  1. ^ Jeffries, David. "Review: Depart from Me". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Hip Hop Official (May 15, 2009). "CAGE INTERVIEW: New Album, New Direction". YouTube. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  3. ^ Ryon, Sean (June 29, 2009). "Cage Explains Lyrical Renaissance On New Album". Hip Hop DX. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Cage: The Dark Side of the Mic". ShockHound. July 9, 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Jones, Anthony (May 18, 2009). "Shia LeBeouf-Directed Music Video Debuts". Los Angeles, California: All Headline News. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Montgomery, James (May 18, 2009). "Shia LaBeouf-Directed Video Puts Cage's Dark Hip-Hop On The Map". MTV News. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  7. ^ Broadley, Erin (May 6, 2009). "The Actor Becomes a Director: With Shia LaBeouf and Chris 'Cage' Palko, Making the "I Never Knew You" Video". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Cage 'Depart From Me' Update". Definitive Jux. February 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  9. ^ "Download Cage’s New EP IN FULL". Subterranean Blog. May 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  10. ^ "Release information for Depart From Me". Definitive Jux. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  11. ^ "Credits for Depart from Me". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 

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