- Mark Edmundson
- 31 January 2008
INDIE HIP HOP
Five albums deep, and with a cable access TV slot and Nike Original Run project under his belt (because even slacker heads need to exercise), Aesop Rock’s murky stew of hip hop, rock and post-apocalyptic commentary still proves a polarising phenomenon.
Far left of hip hop’s ghetto fabulous centre ground but still enjoying mass appeal, the Bostonian backpack rapper is probably typified by a US art school following, and hailing from El-P’s Definitve Jux label his is not conscious hip hop in the Tribe sense, more a bad trip of dark samples, obscure, heavy beats and tough but reflective raps and scratches. Holding 50 Cent in a headlock, this is how the leftfield bring the pain. Fans espouse a revolutionary deepness and intricacy to Aesop’s lyrics, while non-believers are just as vehement that all his wordy raps bring is vague bravado for an America that still wants beer and beards with its beats.
Those who bought None Shall Pass can confirm that fatherhood and a relocation to San Francisco has done little to soften the hard-hitting underground crown-holder. Hot on the heels of Def Jux label boss (and sometime Aesop producer and collaborator) El-P’s appearance at King Tut’s, this is a rare chance to check out the cult eccentric’s show for ourselves, joined as he is by table accomplice on the latest opus, Big Wiz. One of only a handful of European dates and in the suitably macabre if unfittingly salubrious climbs of The Voodoo Rooms this should prove quite the oddball heavyweight event.