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Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives

Aesop Rock

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Album Review

As if underground rap fans weren't eager enough to hear the first new material (except for a few scattered features) from Aesop Rock in a year and a half, Definitive Jux added to the seven-track program a deluxe 88-page book including the complete lyrics to all of Aesop Rock's three LPs and two EPs to date. The music alone nearly justifies the cost, improving on the dense atmosphere pervading Aesop's mostly self-produced Bazooka Tooth, and returning ace producer Blockhead to his prime role in the control chair. His grinding garbage-can beats and flair for old-school funk on the first two tracks, "Fast Cars" and "Number Nine," provide the necessary balance for the murky surrealism of Aesop Rock's lyrics. Aesop himself is back near the top of his admittedly obtuse talents, organizing a morass of pop-culture quotes and current-events terms into a poetic whole, and occasionally even managing to shine a light on his back story and motivations ("Grew up with a Jughead crown tilt and tardy slip," "I put a beetle on his back and take notes"). But if the lavish booklet doesn't give pause to download pirates, the new tracks won't either.

Biography

Born: 11 May 1976 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Building on the rapping style of eccentrics Kool Keith and Del the Funky Homosapien, Def Jux headliner Aesop Rock became one of the hottest MCs in the post-millennial underground. After a pair of self-released LPs (Appleseed, Music for Earthworms), he recorded Float for Mush in 2000. The former Ian Bavitz then issued a pair of singles — "Coma" and "Boom Box" — for another underground rap label paragon, Definitive Jux. His second full-length, 2001's Labor Days, earned positive reviews...
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Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives, Aesop Rock
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