Depart from Me

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Depart from Me
Cage Depart from Me.jpg
Studio album by Cage
Released July 7, 2009
Recorded 2008-2009
Genre Hip hop, Horrorcore,[1] rap rock[2]
Length 46:10
Label Definitive Jux
Producer Aesop Rock, Cage, El-P, Sean "F. Sean" Martin
Cage chronology
Hell's Winter
Depart from Me
Kill the Architect
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (69%)[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
Absolute Punk (93/100)[3]
Spin 4/5 stars[4]
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]
The A.V. Club (B+)[7]
CraveOnline 9/10 stars[8]
HipHopDX (2.5/5)[9]
Pitchfork Media (4.7/10)[10]
XLR8R (7.5/10)[11]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention) [12]
Tiny Mix Tapes (1/5)[13]

Depart from Me is the third studio album by American rapper Cage. Released on July 7, 2009, it is the rapper's second and final 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.[14] 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".[14] 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.[14] Palko stated that "if people can't understand that, that's good, because I don't want to make music for assholes."[14] While Hell's Winter deals with personal change, Depart from Me deals with the difficulty of implementing these changes.[14]

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."[15]


According to Palko, the music of Depart from Me does not rely on sampling, and instead features a guitar and synthesizer-oriented sound.[14] Palko describes the album as incorporating pop influences while keeping an "indie sensibility".[14] Palko states that he wanted to produce music that would appeal to a larger audience.[14] 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.[2] 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."[2]

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.[2]


The first music video from the album, "I Never Knew You", debuted on May 18, 2009.[1][16] The video was directed by Shia LaBeouf, and features actor Dan Byrd following a woman played by Scarlett Kapella.[1][16] 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.[17]

On the same day as the music video's release, Palko released the extended play I Never Knew You as a digital download, initially for free, and then through digital stores.[18] The EP featured four exclusive tracks and "I Never Knew You", from the album.[19]

Depart from Me was initially announced as being scheduled for a June 29 release, but was delayed. The album was released as a digital download, and in deluxe editions on compact disc and vinyl.[20]


Depart from Me peaked at #58 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart, #133 on the Billboard 200, #2 on the Top Heatseekers chart, and #20 on the Top Independent Albums chart.[21]

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".[22]

Track listing[edit]

No. 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, Chantelle Hendreek, 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
iTunes exclusive
No. Title {{{extra_column}}} Length
15. "Hugs and Kisses" Sean "F. Sean" Martin 2:10
Deluxe edition exclusive
No. Title {{{extra_column}}} Length
15. "Worm in Her Vein" Sean "F. Sean" Martin 3:25


Information taken from Allmusic.[23]


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

Additional personnel[edit]

  • 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. ^ a b c Montgomery, James (May 18, 2009). "Shia LaBeouf-Directed Video Puts Cage's Dark Hip-Hop On The Map". MTV News. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Cage: The Dark Side of the Mic". ShockHound. July 9, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Absolute Punk review
  4. ^ Spin review
  5. ^ "Depart from Me". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Jeffries, David. "Review: Depart from Me". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Rabin, Nathan (7 July 2009). "Depart from Me Review". The A.V. Club. 
  8. ^ CraveOnline review
  9. ^ HipHopDX review
  10. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  11. ^ XLR8R review
  12. ^ Consumer Guide Review
  13. ^ "Depart From Me". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Ryon, Sean (June 29, 2009). "Cage Explains Lyrical Renaissance On New Album". Hip Hop DX. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  16. ^ a b Jones, Anthony (May 18, 2009). "Shia LeBeouf-Directed Music Video Debuts". Los Angeles, California: All Headline News. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ "I Never Knew You [Explicit]: Cage: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  19. ^ Abstract by Dave Park. "Album Review: Cage - I Never Knew You (Free EP) | Prefix". Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  20. ^ "Release information for Depart From Me". Definitive Jux. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  21. ^ "Depart from Me - Cage". AllMusic. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  22. ^ "Cage: Out of the Shadows". 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  23. ^ "Credits for Depart from Me". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-16.