Day 60: Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass

29 Apr

None Shall Pass

Well, I’m doing it.  I’m breaking out.  I’m moving past the constraints that I’ve put on myself.  I’m breaking up the train of monogamous indie rock that I’ve subjected myself to recently.  Today, I listened to a hip-hop album.  You’ve gotta understand, I’ve listened to maybe three hip-hop records in my life, and two of those were made by Eminem.

I’m going to emphasize my limited hip-hop knowledge just a bit more.  You know why I know Aesop Rock?  Tor mashed him up with Sufjan Stevens a few years back.  So if I come off as extremely ignorant in this post, please keep in mind that I am.  I would like to give a shout out to last.fm-er ptchfrkabortion because there’s no way I would have actually gone through with listening to this if it weren’t for his suggestion.  I might as well mention elcheeserpuff while I’m at it, as these guys have both given me a bunch of (hopefully) great recommendations.

So, let’s try and talk about a hip-hop record…I hear the term “flow” thrown around a lot when discussing this genre, so I’ll start there.  According to my best friend Urban Dictionary, flow is “a rapper’s ability to rhyme to phat beats in a skillful manner.”  So apparently, for a rapper to have “flow,” there are a few necessary things.  Well, “phat beats” are all over this record.  I think some of my indie rock bands could benefit from using some interesting hip-hop beats.  They could add some much needed texture to the songs.  Lots of the beats on None Shall Pass reminded me of the math rock genre, actually.  There are tons of weird time signatures that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Battles record.  So phat beats: check.  Aesop is also capable of “rhyming” to these “beats” in a “skillful” “manner.”  At least I think that he is.  I don’t have much to base my opinion on.  All I can say is, his words sound good in my ears.

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