Check It Out
Aesop Rock is my favorite rapper, and I want to jump at this opportunity to recommend him to anyone who hasn't listened to him before. Now seems like an especially great time to check him out, since he's just released an album that lives up to the incredibly high standard the rest of his catalog would suggest is appropriate to hold him to. It's called Integrated Tech Solutions, and it's one of the best albums of last year. There being even just a little more buzz surrounding his name is always exciting to me. We almost always have copies of his work in stock on CD and Vinyl, and you really can't go wrong with trying out any of his releases - though my personal favorites are Labor Days, Float, None Shall Pass, Skelethon, and The Impossible Kid. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, he creates these combinations of images and references that are so colorful and novel that I think anyone with even just a mild appreciation for the literary arts would appreciate. His lyrics might seem like nothing more than beautiful gibberish. However, the deeper you analyze them, the more it feels like every single word he strings into his sentences were deliberately placed. One important thing that I think sets him apart from other abstract hip hop artists today is his narrative capabilities. He can find inspiration in anything (what other rapper would write an entire song about a donut shop he just really f-ing loves?), but the real feat is the way he can make the whole thing engaging, and pick apart a million details of any subject that one would otherwise overlook. The most endearing thing about Aesop Rock's music to me, however, is the way he constantly reiterates his raw unbridled hunger to live his life as an excessively creative person, even within the confines of this drudgerous and corporate-dominated world. I think this is something tons of us struggle with day by day, so it's nothing but moving when you repeatedly realize repetition of that devotion to art is almost always at the core of all his flowery wordplay. If you have nerdy interests, or you like weird rappers, or music with poetic and philosophical lyricism, I think you should check him out. You'll never find another artist like him; I guarantee it.