I don’t want just an album cover; I want the artist to be as invested as I am and create a world to accompany the music. But I’m just not all about being referenced as that certain type of rapper.
aesop rock none shall pass download – Aesop Rock (@AesopRockWins)
As Aesop Rock continues to tour on 2016’s The Impossible Kid, he realizes that as a rapper who is now past 40, he doesn’t have much company in pursuing his goal to stay relevant. What do you say about the rapper who never runs out of things to say? Famous for delivering more words within a single song than most emcees can manage in an album (OK, not quite), Rock is the reigning king of the rap underground. His gravelly, spitfire voice and hyper-verbosity have garnered him praise from hip-hop heads and literati alike. His latest solo effort Skelethon,” released in 2012 by Rhymesayers, is the most accomplished work of his career.
Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock both grew up in the New York suburbs and reside in the Pacific Northwest, but they only met after Aesop sent Dawson a fan letter; they eventually evolved into a duo they call The Uncluded. Aesop Rock is a brainy alt-rapper, Kimya Dawson is a playful folk-punk, and both are headlong word-slingers. The difference is that Dawson overflows where Aesop overthinks.
It’s kinda something I’ve talked about in a lot of my work—but perhaps it’s been way more convoluted in the past. Again I think this is a byproduct of creating in somewhat of a bubble. The stuff I write is often what needs to come out, more so than what I want to write. I don’t even know that I’m willing to talk about it that much. Laughs I think when it’s a song lyric, I am in total control of what gets said and how it’s framed, and there is a little bit of safety in that. I can discuss just the parts that I’ve taken the time to craft. But I don’t have much of an interest in actually discussing much of this stuff conversationally.
After 3 years in remission, Hail Mary Mallon has returned, iller than ever. Comprised of two of the most verbose MC’s in Hip-Hop today- Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic- Hail Mary Mallon prepares to unleash their second full-length release, Bestiary. Individually, these two lyricists are well known for wordy expressions eliciting oft-despondent themes. Together, however, they appear to push one another to the limits of humorously witty wordplay, while simultaneously crafting complex rhyme patterns. The very title of the album, Bestiary, was inspired by the fact that they both went into beast mode, here.
Aes puts simple words together because they sound tight (Save Our Ship,” Dog Years,” the song title Suicide Big Gulp”) and he sounds charismatic while he does it. Aesop Rock is a special artist in that he is supremely creative, and can make anything sound good (“Rent like a levitating witch”). When Aes focuses on the “anything” of the album, Malibu Ken soars. The task for Aesop Rock is to make himself as interesting and dynamic as possible, as a man and not simply as an orator.
This clarity was most apparent on his last solo album, The Impossible Kid , for which he earned substantial critical praise, but it was present, although inchoate, on Skelethon as well, where he rapped about mummifying a cat , Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco , and refusing to eat vegetables when he was young The Tom ‘Bedlam character from King Lear comes to mind; Edgar masquerading as a deranged vagrant in order to cover his true identity from those that may hurt him. The last decade has seen Aesop Rock slowly emerge from a protective shell of obfuscation, still a bit mad, but more accessible than ever.
I mean, Portland feels pretty creative to me, but I know what you mean. People go to those places to be surrounded by that vibe. People come to places like this to get away from it. I have identified with both of those things—the need to be up in the mix, and the need to get the hell out of the mix. I can see wavering between those two feelings forever, and just jumping ship when I need a change.
Case in point: From the first few seconds of None Shall Pass,” the title track from Aesop Rock’s new highly-anticipated LP, it’s clear that his vision of the art form is more vital and alive than that which was displayed in any of his previous output. The song’s subtle techno thump, spacey keys and guitar with shuffling hi-hats, sounds almost otherworldly, as does the rapper’s frenetic delivery. On the phone with The Marquee from his new San Francisco abode, Aesop discussed the direction of his new material, the upcoming None Shall Pass Tour and all the painstaking crap in between.
And then I eventually left and just kind of got my next apartment in the city. I’m in Portland right now.… I’ve always recorded at home. That’s been part of what it’s about to me. I’ve never been the kind of guy who rents a studio. My studios are always pretty janky. I mean I have a vocal booth at my house and stuff, but it’s somewhere between a terrible home studio and a nice studio that you pay for…. I just have always liked to be around my place and be at my leisure to just recording the song a hundred times if I want to. Or one time. And just not worry about anything else.
You could see that as stubborn defiance, the old man fighting against tides of change. But on The Impossible Kid, such moves mostly come across as a musician aware of what he likes and working to update it for his current circumstancesa forty-year-old, long-rapping, new cat owner, equally mesmerized and perplexed by the world’s possibilities and problems. Aesop Rock seems to understand it’s impossible to become a kid again, even if youth is more fashionable than legacy.
Well I kinda disagree with some of the premise of the question—for me it’s always been personal and introspective, so I feel like in some ways it’s a direction I’ve been exploring from the beginning. I do think that maybe this one is less cryptic at times—and I guess that’s just how my writing has evolved. To be totally honest, I didn’t realize I was doing it. I basically just wrote what felt right, and when I played it for some folks after, a comment that I heard was that it felt a little more accessible—in that the lyrics weren’t such a puzzle this time around. I can see that now, but it wasn’t really my intention per se. In some of those moments of writing and recording, you don’t really notice how vulnerable you’re being. I just kinda plod along and make this all in a bubble. It’s really not until others point that out that I kinda face what I’ve done.
In February 2010, El-P announced that the label would be put “on hiatus,” aside from selling its catalog and merchandise. During this time Bavitz was absent in terms of making any new albums or EPs, albeit being featured on other artist records and producing.
TOBACCO’s instrumentals work perfectly as accompaniment for Rock’s deranged lyrics. With a relatively limited sonic pallet, TOBACCO is able to keep the beats engaging from front to back. There are no stand-out beats, just consistently creative synth and vocal lines that wriggle and breath as much as the mushroom growing in Malibu Ken’s car. The beats are just as dynamic and relentless as Rock’s delivery as well. Neither upstages the other, instead they work in tandem to keep up the album’s energy as well as its creepy aura.
The line describes how Aesop Rock deals with society — feeling nervous to the point where he makes himself sick, only to clean himself up and wear a facade for the world to see, to feel accepted. A good deal of his songs actually do this. A lot of them carry extra meaning if you listen for references to earlier songs.
Aesop Rock is an underground rapper who started off in Portland, Oregon. Originally from New York he often bases his music on the living conditions there in the big apple. He and his skills later led him to becoming a well known rapper and producer to hip hop listeners across the country. Aesop began to be known for his wide range in vocabulary and diverse style of music.
AR- People tend to write their best work about being hurt. Some people will feed into negativity on any level to fuel their work. And I guess no one wants to hear a record of 12 songs about being happy. I don’t think anyone wants to make that record. If they do, there’s gotta be something wrong with them (laughter)! It’s just funny because with the competitive edge of rap music, people present this flawless image, like they’re invincible. I guess sometimes it works but if you can manage to deal with being a little vulnerable and show some sort of emotion here and there then you’re a leg up already.
I think the most valid criticism of Aes is that his natural rhythm doesn’t always fit with the music hes rapping over. Skelethon feels like the most seamless mesh between his lyrics and music. It just fits right.
Aesop Rock, a 22-year hip-hop veteran, holds the largest vocabulary in the genre’s history. His music is synonymous with abstract lyricism, complex wordplay, fascinating flows and immersive storytelling. Aesop Rock’s music takes time to digest, and taking many attentive listens to each track is necessary for maximum enjoyment.
At 10 tracks and 34 minutes, Malibu Ken” is one of Aesop Rock’s more digestible works and may be the most accessible starting point to his discography. Even as what appears to be branded as a quirky side project for Aesop Rock, Malibu Ken” holds as much significance as any album from the rapper in terms of artistic evolution and personal growth.
Stage named Asap Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers. Stage name Aesop Rock, real name Ian Matthias Bavitz. Two totally different artist with very similar names. Does this mean they have similar style? Perhaps one idolizes the other, or perhaps one envy’s the other.
He would return to his solo career in 2012 with Skelethon , released by the Rhymesayers label. The album featured a guest appearance from Dawson along with Rob Sonic and Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts After his gear was stolen in 2013, Rock sold artwork to help fund a new studio setup. A tour with the Uncluded preceded 2015’s LICE, the first of a trio of collaborative EPs with Homeboy Sandman A year later he returned to his solo career with the single “Rings” and the album The Impossible Kid The following year he scored his first film, the action thriller Bushwick In 2018, he formed Malibu Ken with Black Moth Super Rainbow mastermind Tobacco , whose debut solo album Aesop had guested on a decade prior. The duo’s self-titled album arrived in early 2019.
I’m not sure if it’s related to success or failure more often, but it certainly allows me to fully own whatever the outcome is. If I fail—I can’t blame anyone. Same with success. The older I’ve gotten, the more it’s become important to make these solo endeavors truly about seeing what I can do. In order for me to feel proud, and like the work is mine—I really need to do the work. It’s hard to say This is an Aesop record” if I didn’t even make half the shit on there. Nowadays I like to control every aspect – and even the stuff I don’t technically do myself, I am in complete control of. I’m not saying I’ll never work with another producer or anything, but as of late, this approach is what works for me.
There’s really no better way to describe Aesop Rock than this: He’s an outlier. Fiercely committed to his own brand of art, his wordy, sometimes impenetrable lyrics have alienated many a potential fan. When I first listened to his latest release, The Impossible Kid,” I pulled up the lyrics online and read along with the raps, even then pausing occasionally to decipher a particularly pithy line. To the unprepared or impatient listener, these songs might sound like a foreign language. But if you have the inclination to sit down and spend some quality time with The Impossible Kid,” you’ll hear this record for what it is: the product of years of nose-to-the grindstone work and hard-won life experience, written and delivered by an artist whose talent rivals any of the more famed rappers on Daniels’ extensive chart.
Earlier this year, hip hop artist Aesop Rock decided to promote his new album, Skelethon, by letting the cats in his life co-star in a series of promotional videos for the project. That album was recently described by one of Aesop’s peers as “the only rap album I’ve been listening to recently,” which is fine and justified praise indeed. But Hive couldn’t stop thinking about the cats so we decided to skip the music chit-chat and ask Aesop to share his knowledge about cat ownership with us. He obliged, and dropped the sort of pertinent information that anyone browsing should be all up on.
Rap’s supposed to be a young man’s game, but Aesop’s only been improving as he’s gotten closer to middle age. He’s tackling different subject matter, going deep on topics like depression, his sometimes rocky relationships with his family, and the turbulent handful of years that culminated in Aesop leaving his adopted home of San Francisco to live in a barn out in the woods, where he recorded the foundations of The Impossible Kid.
On the more narrative song, Acid King,” Aesop Rock tells the true story of Ricky Kasso, a teenager who went to the same high school as Aesop Rock and murdered his friend under the influence of psychedelic drugs in 1984. The year is important, as Aesop Rock makes countless ’80s culture references that serve to build a relation between Aesop Rock and Kasso in the things they both enjoyed.
It wasn’t really a conscious decision. So much of what has happened over the years is that I’ll go make a bunch of songs and not many people will hear them. I’ll just kinda do my thing and not really think too much about how it’s taking shape, try to let it just come out. Then I’ll finally play it for someone and they’ll say something similar to what you just said, This is the most _____ music you’ve ever made.” And it’s always surprising—not because it’s not true, but more because I’m too close to it to even notice that kinda thing. I just kinda go and go and go, and then one day someone tells me what I did. That said, yeah, I guess I can see that. I really like it all; the super cryptic stuff, the super straight-forward stuff—any of it can be fly to me if done well.
It is far too easy to hate on something because pop culture has watered it down,” wrote Definitive Jux label rapper Aesop Rock in a recent URB magazine article. To entirely dismiss hip-hop as being ‘dead’ is a little like saying elephants are dead because they are no longer armored and used in battles like they were in 16th Century India.” No truer words have been written in the defense of hip-hop culture and the underground innovators who constantly strive to explore the possibilities of this young genre.
As Aesop Rock tours behind his latest album, The Impossible Kid, he realizes that as a rapper who is now 40 years old, he doesn’t have much company in pursuing his goal to stay relevant, grow his audience and continue to progress musically.
The opening track Corn Maze” introduces Aesop Rock as the private and guarded individual many fans already know him as. He repeats the phrase I got some walls up,” which may be an answer to why he’s known for such abstract and cryptic songwriting. On this particular track he seems to have more pride and lighthearted feelings towards his own isolated behaviors.
NYC has amazing diners and food pretty much everywhere–I can’t really say I have a favorite breakfast spot. I lived in a few different locations during the Def Jux years. It was always coffee, and something pretty unhealthy like a muffin or some other bread product. Every bodega has muffins and danishes and shit, so I ate a lot of that crap. I kinda used to sleep way late in those days, so I was well into lunch hour by then, and normal breakfast wasn’t always on the radar, besides coffee, which is always on the radar.
While Aesop made his name as an artist with the Mush label, and later, on El’s Definitive Jux squad, this decade he’s been rolling with the Rhymesayers family, co-founded by Atmosphere. As recently as 2016’s The Impossible Kid , Rock has made some of his best Hip-Hop in years. He keeps the art exciting through interesting visuals, rugged flows, and compelling takes on the state of the culture.
Those years have been productive, though. Since his last solo album, 2012’s Skelethon, Aesop has released collaborative albums with Kimya Dawson (The Uncluded’s Hokey Fright in 2013), with Rob Sonic (Hail Mary Mallon’s Bestiary in 2014, which was tracked in the same barn in the woods), and with Homeboy Sandman (LICE’s self-titled EP in 2015). He’s also been actively crafting beats. Recent projects include producing the 32+ minute instrumental mix, The Blob, working together with Nike to provide the music for a series of their skateboarding videos, and producing the soundtrack for the upcoming film Bushwick, starring Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow.