Why So Serious?

Credit: Ben Colen

As with every genre, hip hop has always had its tropes and trends; similar themes and subjects have been consistently explored and slapped on wax for the last forty years. But there are some rap songs that have materialised during that time, which have eschewed the more familiar themes and instead taken delight in the whimsical, the weird and the wonderful. See: Laundry by R.A.P. Ferreira, from his excellent Purple Moonlight Pages album, for a recent example.
But it’s Aesop Rock who has been the brains behind a number of my favourites that have emerged over the years, and so below I have outlined six of the best from the Rhymesayers artist. It provides some insight into why he has been one of my favourite rappers for the last 15 years, thanks in part to his ability to rap about any topic and deliver it with that unique command of language he brings to his lyricism. Continue reading “Why So Serious?”

Lice: Ask Anyone

Following on from the very sad news of MF DOOM’s passing, the internet was awash with tributes from all walks of the music industry, not just hip hop; a testament to the masked villain’s universal appeal and intrigue. One of the standouts for me has been this joint from Lice – aka Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman – who decided to pay their respects to DOOM with some typically tight bars over one of his most-loved instrumentals. You can hear the results for yourself below and downloads are available via Bandcamp.

Small Bills: Banneker’s Almanac

A new arrival from Small Bills, as ELUCID and The Lasso continue to deliver the gems from their recent collaboration. Standing as one of the highlights from last year, the abstract brilliance of the project is experienced in all its glory in the glitchy joy of Banneker’s Almanac (Google: Benjamin Banneker). The track is accompanied by some absorbing visuals from Joseph. Don’t Play it Straight is out now on Mello Music Group.

Run The Jewels: Walking In The Snow

First of all, a happy new year to you guys. I hope you all managed to find some semblance of festive joy, in spite of the global shit-show we are all existing in right now. I thought I’d kick off 2021 with the latest from Run The Jewels, as they get their Pixar on in their new video for Walking In The Snow, in which we find them depicted as kick-ass RTJ action figures manoeuvring their way through a violent dystopian toy town. Pleased to see Bristol’s own Jacknife Films involved with the production again, alongside London-based Black Dog Films. RTJ4 is out now.

Quelle Chris & Chris Keys ft. Merrill Garbus, Cavalier & Homeboy Sandman: Sacred Safe

A good start to the week as I bring you the latest video from Quelle Chris and Chris Keys. Not only was Innocent Country 2 one of the best releases from this year, but Sacred Safe was also one of my most played tracks of the last 12 months. The track features superb contributions from Cavalier, Homeboy Sandman and Merrill Garbus, as well as a new layer of dope, thanks to the video from Santa West & Quelle. Innocent Country 2 is out now on Mello Music.

Ded Tebiase ft. Wish Master, Axel Holy & DJ Madhandz: Queen Camel

Struggling to keep up with the flurry of releases from Village Live, as they continue to gift us gems from their new compilation album, Village Live is Five, but had to share this new video from some of my favourites. Bristol very much in the building, with Ded Tebiase reigniting old successes as he joins forces with Axel Holy once more, along with Wish Master and some supreme cuts from DJ Madhandz. The video was made by Max Kelan Pearce Productions. Village Live is Five is available to pre-order now.