After publishing a series of tweets quoting the sharpest bars in Aesop Rock’s “Cat Food” single, Philly rapper Zilla Rocca ended his praise with the following:
Any rapper who doesn’t bow before Aesop Rock at this point is a straight up cornball. Dude has been 100% original for 15 years.
— Zilla Rocca (@ZillaRocca) January 6, 2015
I’m endorsing Zilla’s proclamation with an added dose of Indisputable. In fact, let’s go further: anyone who listens to hip hop that does not “get” Aesop Rock at this point is straight up cornball. (It doesn’t take a rap vocab aggregator to understand it as so.)
Since the formation of Hail Mary Mallon with Rob Sonic—and perhaps even a record or so before that—Aesop Rock has countered his backpack past of esotericism with a penchant for bar-by-bar flash fiction and wily memorabilia nostalgia. I’m certain I was never expected to define “bazooka tooth” or absorb it into my lexicon, but memory triggers ignite of grade school bumper stickers when he raps “my kid made the honor role / your kid is a piece of shit” on HMM’s “Holy Driver”. As for the flash-fiction technique, on “Bug Zapper” Aesop Rock, like an untrustworthy protagonist, writes the setting of his maladjusted modus operandi with “the author of the artistry / may or may not be weeping to an automated pharmacy.” Still, the man himself, fully cognizant, says it best of his rap station after 15 years: “lived to see another sexy generation fizzle… out” going on to innocuously state “keep rap homely” without needing to mention the state of his facial hair.
The two-song EP was released digitally today, while the physical 7″ was a present to those who ordered the collaborative vinyl toy “Whiskers: The Undead” by Aesop and Kid Robot. So, start scrolling eBay for that.
Hail Mary Mallon’s Bestiary is out now on Rhymesayers.