Aesop Rock: Rogue Wave

“A little bread, a little circus, it serve as a diversion for devils and death merchants” – and so begins the surprise new single from Aesop Rock, Rogue Wave, which saw its release yesterday. Sadly, the Rhymesayers artist is mourning the loss of a close friend at the moment, so a portion of proceeds from the single’s sales will go to the family of Kurt Hayashi. There are also two portraits of Kurt included in the video, which as you will see, is made up of portraits drawn by Aesop Rock, before being expertly stitched together by Rob Shaw. As well as the single itself, there are also t-shirts and stickers available, plus a limited edition 7″ version. All of which can be found here. Continue reading “Aesop Rock: Rogue Wave”

Aesop Rock & Tobacco: Tuesday

I’ve got three fantastic new videos in a row for you today, kicking off with the latest from one of my favourite albums of the year, the weird and wonderful Malibu Ken collaboration from Aesop Rock and TOBACCO. The video contains the condensed life story of a strange mould baby – for want of a better phrase – as Aesop breaks down his unsavoury living arrangements, which certainly ring true with virtually every shared house I lived in during my early 20’s, e.g. “One plate, one fork, itty-bitty lamp/I would offer you a drink, but I literally can’t”. The video was directed by Rob Shaw. Malibu Ken is out now on Rhymesayers. Continue reading “Aesop Rock & Tobacco: Tuesday”

Blockhead: Free Sweatpants – The Instrumentals (Stream)

At the start of the year we saw the release of an album that will quite easily emerge as one of the strongest projects of 2019, when these 12 months are all done and dusted. For his first producer album, Blockhead amassed an intoxicating brew of instrumentals and vocal tracks, featuring some of the best voices in rap today.
Now we are being treated to the full instrumental release of Free Sweatpants, which is a must for any fans of the NY producer, or simply for fans of first rate beat-making. And as if the opportunity to digest all these gems in their rawest form wasn’t enough to pique your interest, the album also comes with two bonus tracks featuring billy woods, Curly Castro and Aesop Rock. You can listen to this bonus tracks and the rest of the album below, with downloads available via Backwoodz Studioz. Continue reading “Blockhead: Free Sweatpants – The Instrumentals (Stream)”

Homeboy Sandman: West Coast

Fresh track from one of the best wordsmiths of the era, as Homeboy Sandman returns with West Coast. Produced by his close friend and musical ally, Aesop Rock, the beat provides the ideal backdrop for Sandman’s usual level of gem dropping, including my personal favourite, “Sharpie for taggin up my new forcefield/Inside my beard I got a 3 course meal”. Listen to the track below and cop a download via Bandcamp. Continue reading “Homeboy Sandman: West Coast”

Aesop Rock & TOBACCO: Malibu Ken (Stream)

Speaking of Aesop Rock, he also blessed with a new project today, alongside producer and psych rock front man, TOBACCO. The duo, known collectively as Malibu Ken, seem to have found just the right creative balance when their respective talents are combined, with TOBACCO’s electronic 8-bit heavy beats verging just onto the right side of dark and angsty, providing the perfect backdrop for Aesop’s usual brand of studious lyricism. The whole album is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding Rhymesayers catalogue and you can hear the whole thing for yourself below. Physicals and merch are available over at Fifth Element. Continue reading “Aesop Rock & TOBACCO: Malibu Ken (Stream)”

Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)

Blockhead has been a favourite producer of mine ever since I first heard his work with Aesop Rock on Labor Days. Over the years he has maintained a steady stream of solid solo releases – Music by Cavelight and Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, being two personal favourites – as well as some excellent production credits for some equally excellent rappers. The one thing I have always wanted to hear from him though was a production album, featuring loads of good MCs rapping their asses off, which is exactly what the New York producer delivered today.
Following on from last year’s Funeral Balloons – his debut release on his new label home, Backwoodz Studioz – Free Sweatpants merges quintessential Blockhead instrumentals, with plenty of strong features from a whole host of talented writers. As if it’s not enough having Tree, Hemlock Ernst, Aesop Rock, Armand Hammer, Homeboy Sandman, Vic Spencer and Marq Spekt involved, Blockhead kicks off the album with a track featuring Open Mike Eagle, billy woods AND Breeze Brewin. The result is as good as you would hope for and more. I spent years waiting for this album to happen and I am happy to be able to say it has surpassed all my expectations. Free Sweatpants is available to stream in full below and you find downloads over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)”

Blockhead ft. Aesop Rock: Kiss The Cook

If you didn’t know already, the mighty Blockhead is releasing an album shortly, packed full of rap talent. That talent includes his long term friend and collaborator, Aesop Rock. When I first got into Aesop, it was due to the material he and Blockhead had pumped out back in those halcyon Def Jux days. Yesterday saw the release of their song from the forthcoming album and I’m pleased to report that their union has lost none of its original appeal. Free Sweatpants is due for release on 18 January on Backwoodz Studioz.

Aesop Rock & TOBACCO: Acid King

Yesterday it was announced that Rhymesayers representative and alt-rap vanguard, Aesop Rock, would be teaming up with analogue synth wizard, TOBACCO, to form Malibu Ken. The duo have an album en route, scheduled for early 2019 release and Acid King is the first single from the project. Malibu Ken is due out on 18 January and pre-orders are available now.

Five Favourites from El-P

Last year I did a round-up of some of my favourite insults from jewel runner and indie rap pioneer, El-P. Not content with ending it there, I have now tackled the larger and perhaps more rewarding task of selecting my favourite guest verses that he’s blessed us with over the last two decades or so. Before I started actually writing this, I had a pretty good idea in my head of how this Top 5 would end up looking, but it’s not until you start researching this sort of thing that you realise just how many tracks El-P has guested on across his career. So here we go with MY five favourite guest verses from the man himself (capitals on the ‘MY’, don’t @ me!).

Continue reading “Five Favourites from El-P”