I'm posting in [relatively] quick succession because I'm listening to Cannibal Ox again after a long time and was overcome by the sudden urge to share my experience. Cannibal Ox is about as gritty a hip-hop act as you can get, in terms of lyrical content. This shit is depressing. You have the regular "street" themes going on but the imagery is just incredibly creative and abstract throughout most of the record and the flow(s) is/are just magical. This is all topped off by El-P's production (a talented MC in his own right) whose grinding, just-the-right-amount-of-repetitive beats capture the atmosphere created by the lyrics perfectly. Symbiosis, is what I would call this.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter if you are or aren't a hip-hop fan, I would recommend this album to anyone who can appreciate creativity of lyrical content.