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Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass – 2007

May 24, 2010

Aesop Rock has long been one of my favorite rappers. It starts with his story; a Jersey-born Hip Hop kid pedaling his self-financed and produced records on a street side table in downtown New York. He was picked up by a label and given space and support to further develop his art. His beat and production is as good as anyone that I know, but his lyricism is by far his strongest talent. In a world where Hip Hop is characterized and identified by asinine, idiotic babbling about how clean the rappers’ shoes are, or how big the tires on their cars might be, Aesop Rock comes through in an impressively intellectual and thoughtful way. His vocabulary is one of the most vast of anyone I have ever heard, period. And, the way that he interjects and makes four, five, six syllable words rhyme with each other is nothing short of impressive. His lyrical complexity and depth has earned him praise, scrutiny, and everything in between. In his words:

My entire approach to writing lyrics these days is based around a vision of being the old man who eats beans out of a can and tells folk tales around a fire to the wide-eyed youth, tall tale style. So my target audience is that youth, and old people with similar stories.

Aesop Rock has consistently reinforced my faith in Hip Hop as an art form, and not merely a means for insecure children to make themselves quick fortunes. None Shall Pass is his most recent studio album, and my favorite of all of them. He gets better with each effort, and this one is supreme. Check it out:

The Harbor Is Yours
None Shall Pass

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One comment

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