Band/Artist Profile

Aesop Rock: Artist in review

Who Is Aesop Rock?

Ian Bavitz (also known as Aesop Rock) was born on Long Island, New York in 1976. When he later started creating rap projects with his long-time friend and producer Blockhead, his style was heavily influenced by the 90s New York rappers he grew up listening to.

How is Aesop Rock?

His quick, verbose rapping over slow, bass-heavy beats helps emphasize the role of his vocals over all else. Of course, that same emphasis on having such a large vocabulary can often make his verses near unintelligible unless listeners put their full focus into his songs. While there certainly is a place for music that requires your full attention in order to understand what’s going on, there are often times where his rhymes are just a bit too incomprehensible to tell what’s going on anyway.

What has Aesop Rock done?

Over the course of his 20+ year career, Aesop has released nine studio albums, six EPs, and many more collaborative songs with other artists. Of course, over that kind of a career, an artist is bound to evolve. While his rapping style hasn’t changed much since his debut “Music for Earthworms”, the production surrounding him has shifted so much that the effect of his onslaught of words has taken on a completely different tone by the time of his 2020 album “Spirit World Field Guide”.

As his beats became more synthetic over time, Aesop ironically seems to just get more authentic and personal. That’s not to say his early work featured impersonal content, just that most of his lyrics focused on his day-to-day complaints with work that are often prevalent in conversations with friends. There isn’t much he raps about early on that isn’t already covered by other rappers, in other words. A lot of the complaints critics often place against Aesop’s seemingly pretentious nature comes from these albums, I believe.

Anyway, here’s Aesop’s most popular song that acts as a great introduction to his work: “None Shall Pass”

By Cashew

Hi y'all, I'm Cashew and I'm a freshman majoring in Biology. I listen to a good bit of electro-pop, hip-hop and psych rock, but of course, I like to mix in other genres as well. I mostly write album and artist reviews, though I hop into discourse every so often.