Saturday, June 22, 2019

Aesop Rock Review


Aesop Rock is my favorite lesser-known rapper. 

Photo of rapper Aesop Rock removing his baseball cap to scratch his head.

I don’t think he is so unknown as to be called underground, but he isn’t a household name. 

Aesop Rock lyrics are unlike popular music and mainstream rap lyrics that you hear today. While other musicians write songs about having a lot of money and driving nice cars, maybe traveling the world in luxury accommodations, Aesop writes almost anything but that. 

Some of Aesop’s songs are like fictional stories, the telling of a character and their actions, some are almost like essays that describe how he feels about various topics, some are almost entirely abstract, stringing together lines that seem to have little to do with each other. 

One common theme throughout all of Aesop’s songs is very poetic lyrics and dense rhyming patterns. The language he uses is uncommon. It sounds beautiful strung together as it is, but it takes a moment to translate it in your head to what would be common speak and understand the meaning.

Aesop Rock has a huge back catalog of works, many albums and songs. They are all good, but I love his newest album, The Impossible Kid, the most. 

Album Cover for The Impossible Kid. Mostly purple and green illustration.

Not only are his lyrics excellent, but the instrument music behind them are unique and energetic. His productions are hypnotically repetitive, taking a small series of notes, some motif, and looping them. 

Aesop has done work in the past with prolific producer Blockhead. Blockhead’s beats are the tops, and if you have never heard anything by Blockhead, check out the songs “Music Scene” and “Funeral Balloons”.

Album art for Blockhead's "The Music Scene". Illustration of flooded city streets with two monkeys and a turtle.

Aesop Rock’s real name is Ian Matthias Bavitz and he is from Portland, Oregon. 

Bavitz is also involved in the musical projects “Hail Mary Mallon” and “Malibu Ken”.

"Malibu Ken" Album Art. Illustration of a close-up face of a disgusting man with boogers and zits and bandages and pus and bloodshot eyes.

My favorite songs by Aesop Rock are None Shall Pass, Rings, Rabies, Shrunk, Dorks, and Mystery Fish.

I think the rap artist most similar to Aesop Rock is MF Doom because they both share a similar lyrical style that involves poetry and thorough rhyming.


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