People just don’t get NYC’s Aesop Rock. His muddled lyrics and somber tales of the metropolitan jungle often bewilder listeners. If you can get over his dense, bassey voice and oscillating lyrical delivery, you might need to adjust yourself to his head-wobbling beats, which he produces, alongside Def Jux cohorts such as El-P. Critics are stunned by the plethora of vocabulary he uses in his rhymes, but really, Ian Bavitz is just a regular guy with some off-the-wall rhyming skills. Arguably, he’s the best white rapper the mainstream doesn’t know about – well, at least the most ingenious.
After cultivating a loyal fanbase with records such as Appleseed (1999), Float (2000) and Labor Days (2001), the cunning Lower East Side native just dropped a new record today, Bazooka Tooth. Hitting your eardrums with razor blade poignancy, the album boasts complex beats, while Aesop raps about everything from the banalities of daily life to the tragedy of 9/11 (“Breaker 1-9/9-11-01 witness/Maybe you don’t get this,” he spits on “NY Electric”).
Life & Art caught up with the MC at NYC’s