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Labor Days

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Album Review

After finding an eager online audience for his dense soundscapes and even more complex rhymes, New York MC Aesop Rock released his most potent combination of words and music on his Def Jux debut. Crammed with references to history and mythology, as well as the usual pop-culture name checks, Aesop's lyrics remain unusually verbose and intelligent here, but he's also able to spin them into compelling stories. The best example is the bittersweet, follow-your-dreams saga of "No Regrets," which chronicles a woman's sacrifices for art from childhood to old age. Besides the wealth of detail, the song doesn't sugarcoat the loneliness of its subject, even as it shows her at ease with her choices. And on "9-5ers Anthem," Aesop — who still works a day job himself — allays any concerns about him being a hip-hop elitist, offering a shout out to the blue-collar masses. There are still instances where he gives his listeners simply too much information to process for a pop song ("The Tugboat Complex, Pt. 3"), but, overall, he does his best job yet at balancing smarts and accessibility. Of course, with such a focus on lyrics, it's easy to ignore the beats behind them — but while the sampled backing is sometimes on the plain side, Labor Days contains some inventive bites from classical music, and more than a few tunes will grow on you, if given the chance.

Customer Reviews


by leaps and bounds his best album. he discusses the struggles of the middle/lower class in an un-snobby original way, a refreshment to hip hop. he discusses the emptiness of the average life, and the tragedy of materialism with much finesse. daylight is one of the most moving rap songs ever, and has some of the most wittily metaphoric wordplay ive ever seen in music. labor, no regrets, flashflood, and shovel are also top notch works of art on this masterpiece.

Aesop Rock, Mic Bizzaro

This is one of the most brilliant artists to ever set foot on the path of music. His lyrics at first will make you say, "what the hell is he rapping about?". Once your taste has been acquired for this musical mastermind, his lyrics will hit you with a wall of intelligence and beauty. This man is TRULY one of a kind, and there will be no one to ever do that he does. A true revolutionary in the field of not just hip hop, but all music. Buy this album if you're open to amazement.


This album to me is among the greats of underground hip hop essentials. Its in the same category as Both Sides Of The Brain by Del, also Deltron 3030, best of KMD and DJ Premiers Rare Play


Born: May 11, 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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Labor Days, Aesop Rock
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Customer Ratings