April 3, 2008

Test Spin: Aesop Rock

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Aesop Rock’s drawling lyrics are born from a wide and esoteric knowledge. The Long Island-born MC does not stop to linger over chains, ass, cars or drugs; instead his songs speak to a stranger, more prolific lifestyle. It is these lyrics that gave Aesop his fans; yet it’s these same lines that continue to keep him underground. In “Citronella,” the first verse finishes rife with references to literature, film and history: “Forty torched orchids and citronella for Algernon, don and vagabond alike repent, this shit should have gone ’beta burns babylon, the end!’” Though we may be lost in Aesop’s verbosity, his hooks are bumping and may eventually be his bridge to the mainstream. From the bounce groove of “Coffee” to the acid waves of “Citronella,” None Shall Pass constitutes an album that leaves us slightly bewildered, but ready to dance.