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Aesop Rock

Aesop Rock first rapped over a Blockhead beat 24 years ago. At least, that was the first time that Aesop Rock rapped over a Blockhead beat on record. The Long Island rapper and the Manhattan beatmaker had become friends a few years earlier at Boston University. By the time Aesop self-released his 1997 debut album Music For Earthworms, Blockhead had already dropped out of college, though Aesop was still there. (He’d graduate a year later.) When Aesop made Music For Earthworms, he hadn’t yet become a name on the underground rap scene, and that underground rap scene — Stretch & Bobbito freestyles, 12″ singles sold at Fat Beats — wasn’t anywhere near as big as it would become a few years later. Aesop produced most of that album himself, but on the song “Plastic Soldiers,” he applied his darting, word-drunk flow to Blockhead’s mournfully stuttering violin loop.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

More than 21 years ago, I saw the Minneapolis rap group Atmosphere open a show at New York’s Knitting Factory. At that show, the late Eyedea was Atmosphere’s hypeman, and they were great. The bill also included a couple of standout New York underground acts, J-Live and MF DOOM, all opening for Chuck D’s terribly and justifiably forgotten rap-metal group Konfrontation Kamp. DOOM and Atmosphere soon became underground rap institutions, and DOOM released his 2004 album Mm..Food on the Atmosphere-affiliated Rhymesayers label. We lost DOOM last year, but now he’s made a posthumous appearance on Atmosphere’s new song “Barcade.”

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Last year, the disarmingly filter-free Queens underground rapper Homeboy Sandman came out with Don’t Feed The Monster, an album produced entirely by Quelle Chris. Next month, Sandman will team up with another producer for another project. This time around, it’s an EP called Anjelitu, and the producer is Sandman’s frequent collaborator Aesop Rock, who’s coming off his own great 2020 album Spirit World Field Guide. We’ve already posted first single “Go Hard.” Today, Sandman has shared another new one called “No Beef,” and it’s not about what you’re thinking.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Underground rap lifers Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman seem to really like working with each other. They’ve done it a bunch of times over the years. For a while, Aesop and Sandman made a series of EPs under the duo name Lice; the last of them, Triple Fat Lice, came out in 2017. Earlier this year, the two rappers paid tribute to the late MF DOOM on the heartwarming track “Ask Anyone.” And now, Aesop and Sandman are once again getting together to release a new EP called Angelitu. Sandman does the raps, and Aesop does the beats.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

It’s largely lost to early-internet obscurity, but there was a time when people got very agitated about the concept of “glitch-hop.” To hear a young post-Y2K Scott Herren explain it, the idea of fusing experimental IDM sounds with sample-based hip-hop technique was a disservice to both genres — at least according to the proto-Twitter beefs that arose on old-school message boards. Both electronic music and underground hip-hop were fan-argument minefields for Napster-embattled, Puffy-averse turn of the millennium music geeks, but letting those two worlds intermingle today thankfully seems like more of a fait accompli than an excuse to gatekeep from both ends. And after taking his share of shots, Herren has since come out the other end of that argument looking more like the decades-defining visionary he is than the interloper he was seen as. The proof is right there in Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives, his 2001 debut album as Prefuse 73, released 20 years ago today.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Last year, longtime rap traveler Aesop Rock released his psychedelic, head-spun self-produced LP Spirit World Field Guide, and it was one of my favorite rap albums of last year. A couple of months ago, Aesop and frequent collaborator Homeboy Sandman came out with “Ask Anyone,” their salute to the late MF DOOM. And today, Aesop Rock has returned to celebrate National Frog Day. (That’s a thing. It’s today.)

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Last month, Aesop Rock announced that he was releasing Spirit World Field Guide, his first new album in five years that also serves as a concept album that offered survival tips in a parallel universe (which feels right for 2020 and especially now). The veteran rapper has put out a trippy video for his latest…

For more go to: Spin.com (Source)

The videos never stop. They’re a constant stream, a deluge. As I’m writing this, the last one was three days ago. Cinematically, that video is nothing much. The imagery is static, even boring. It’s NBA YoungBoy, riding a shopping cart through a supermarket, throwing boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at the camera. It’s NBA YoungBoy,…

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)