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File:Aesop Rock2.jpg


Aesop Rock (Ian M. Bavitz) is an American-born Alternative Hip Hop artist. Aesop has been releasing music since 1997 when he released the self-financed Music For Earthworms. After another self-released album (the Appleseed EP) he signed to Mush Records and released Float. Shortly after, he signed to his current record label, El-P's Def Jux label, where he has since released Labor Days, Daylight, Bazooka Tooth, Fast Cars, Danger, Fire, and Knives, and None Shall Pass. Aesop Rock's lyrics are made up of absurdist metaphors, puns, imagery and pop culture and mythology references.

Discography

  • Music For Earthworms (1997)
  • Appleseed EP (1999)
  • Float (2000)
  • Labor Days (2001)
  • Daylight EP (2002)
  • Bazooka Tooth (2003)
  • Fast Cars, Danger, Fire, & Knives (2005)
  • None Shall Pass (2007)
  • You Gonna Eat That? (with Rob Sonic as Hail Mary Mallon) (2011) [on Rhymesayers]
  • Hokey Fright(w/ Kimya Dawson as The Unaccluded) (upcoming)
  • Skelethon (upcoming)



Tropes in Aesop Rock's music

  • Age Progression Song - "No Regrets" off of Labor Days, follows the life of "Lucy", at ages 7, 37, and 87. Inspired by a true story...maybe.
  • Audience Participation Song - The Megamix at the end of the Deluxe Edition of None Shall Pass starts with a group of people chanting "AE-SOP, AE-SOP", it takes up a good minute of the song.
  • Continuity Nod - The aforementioned Megamix has clips and random sound bites from Labor Days and Bazooka Tooth, most notably, the first minute or so of the mix is made out of them completely.
    • A good deal of his songs actually do this. A lot of them carry extra meaning if you listen for references to earlier songs.
  • Creator Breakdown - "Maintenance" is about this, so is "One of Four".
  • The End of the World as We Know It - "None Shall Pass" is about this, and it's mentioned in the earlier "Freeze" and a few other songs as well.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The last verse of "Coffee" is song by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun - Subverted hard, absurd puns are a large part of his rhyme scheme, but they're very clever.
  • I Have Many Names - Most are shootoffs of "Aesop Rock", Aes Rizzle, Aes Diesel, Aes Rock, Aes, the notable exception is Bazooka Tooth, who may or may not be a character he plays.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes - Much of his older work would've been lost if not for a few dedicated fans. Further, many unreleased tracks are featured only on hard-to-find mixtapes. The most notable of said mixtapes being Rarities & B-Sides: Volumes 1 & 2.
  • Meaningful Name - Subverted he's not named after the philosopher (though he easily could be), his name is a character he played in an "art film" once, plus the suffix "Rock" because it's cool.
  • Mind Screw - Usually subverted, but "Water" definitely counts, it seems to be a political message, but even keeping in mind Aes' usual metaphors, it doesn't make much sense. The Sampling of some sort of opera only serves to make it worse.
    • "Mars Attacks" could arguably be worse, [1] is pretty understandable after a few listens, but what it means, and what the second part are about is anyone's guess.
  • One of Us - Often references anime, comic books, 80's movies, and video games.
  • Perspective Flip - "Nightlight" is a kind of an Evil Counterpart meets The Rashomon to "Daylight", featuring roughly the same lyrical structure but with every line subtlely changed in meaning, usually for the Darker and Edgier.
    • "Daylight":

 Life's not a bitch, life is a beautiful woman

You only call her a bitch cause she wouldn't let you get that pussy

Maybe she didn't feel y'all shared any similar interests,

Or maybe you're just an asshole who couldn't sweet talk the princess

    • "Nightlight":

 Life's not a bitch, life is a bee-YOTCH!

Who keeps the villagers circling the marketplace out searching for the G-spot

Maybe she didn't feel y'all shared any similar interests

Or maybe you're just an asshole. Or maybe I'm just an asshole

  • Performance Video - "No Jumper Cables"
    • "Zero Dark Thirty" comes pretty close, but not quite.
  • Sampling - Done fairly often on his tracks, it's usually inconspicuous and from obscure sources.
  • Shout-Out - Shout outs to other rappers are scattered all over all of his albums, Bazooka Tooth in particular has a ton to Jam Master Jay, and "No Jumper Cables" has a 20-second line referencing Dungeons and Dragons, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, Voltron, Speed Racer, and Space Ghost.
  • Story Arc - There are a couple, most notably the saga of Bazooka Tooth, a bumbling lowlife.
  • What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs? - Subverted with his first two albums, Music for Earthworms and Appleseed, which likely were made on drugs, however his later albums (Float onward) invoke this while arguably being weirder than his first two.
  • Word of God - This is the only way you will ever know for sure what any given song is about, and he's not fond of talking about such things, leading to Shrug of God.

Notes

  1. Bazooka Tooth, the albums main character, witnesses an alien invasion of Earth in general, and New York in particular. He decides to lead a resistance movement to oust the aliens, and ends up making it onboard their ship, the Alien Mother gives him a Reason You Suck Speech. He attempts to kill the Alien Mother anyway, and is shot in the face by the Royal Guards, his crew is defeated, and Mars Wins
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