Jul 29, 2012
Somebody in an uncultivated moment of resolve...
Composed himself enough to artlessly post Aesop on his... blog?
In 06/07 I was one of those fools who self-righteously decided that rap had reached its apex years earlier with Labor Days in 2001, Fantastic Damage in 2002, Vaudeville Villain in 2003, and then Madvillainy in 2004. Quickly though I grew embarrassed of these (backpacker) assertions and denounced them along with Def Jux and Stones Throw- my heroes, Aesop and DOOM. More recently I started becoming embarrassed by these denouncements- when music's good, it's good, you know?- and El-P's and Aesop's 2012 releases have really rubbed that in
When music's good, it's good! It feels good thinking that! And it feels good recognizing that Skelethon is very good. I was gonna wait 'til I understood it properly before posting it, but I've been sitting on it for 19 days and have concluded that there's no hope of that ever happening so here goes
Where dadaisms have always made their way into his records, infuriating some listeners and exciting others, this time around they seem more percussive- you can think about a line if you want to, or just listen to the way it sounds- he's either intentionally picked the words well for this (Mike Patton is known to do the same), or he's straight doing some of his best emceeing- fast-paced but clear, tasting how a word will sound before tying it around similar or opposite sounds and images. On a more okay but what is he actually saying level, Skelethon also excels- his vocabulary is dense, his references complex- but every now and then a line 'hits home.' Aesop's designed these lines to 'hit home,' being (maybe) uncharacteristically honest and sad. As they add up, it becomes clear that Skelethon's all introspection, loss, and death: or less bleakly, life, which for him at 36 has unfortunately been loss and death- so, uh, life, death, nostalgia, experience, ageing, human relationships, and so on. Conceptual, focussed, and touching rather than the pseudo-dada verbiage cynics wanted. Of course Aesop's always been a fine (if pseudo-dadaist) lyricist, but fans often have a hard time hearing him on suitable or just not average beats. Here, however, that decidedly conceptual drive has encouraged him to produce a set of atmospheric tracks which compliment rather than drown out (or get drowned out by) his stories/observations/imagery. A well thought out and exceptionally well executed rap record.
Life, death obsessed rhymes from ex-backpacker finding perfect set of beats. Focussed, atmospheric, lively enough to almost betray his convictions, thankfully direct enough to betray his enigmatic purpose
Posted by max