Aesop Rock: The Impossible Kid

Having all the words doesn't mean you have the right words.

- In bit of relaxed research, Aesop Rock was discovered to be the wordiest of rappers, utilising approximately seven thousand three hundred and ninety two unique words since his first release back in ’97. It should be known that that figure was extracted from his first thirty five thousand lyrics - which by Aesop standards, could be within the first three releases. Some relaxed calculations would suggest that over his total nine releases that Aesop should enunciate an extra twenty one thousand unique words. Unsurprisingly, one of Rock’s consistent criticisms is that he is too wordy. His latest is no different, The Impossible Kid is wordy as fuck. If I may be so trite.

The guy is very clever and very observant and while he is going to deftly put things into a damning perspective, it’s not going to come in a tidy couplet. It’s going to come at you in slick-tongued sixteens laced with the surreal. Or in a motor boating thirty-two that’ll leave you flustered and grasping for a moment to think. Rock invites you in opener Mystery Fish to “Word up” so that you’ll be able to appreciate the impending onslaught.

The Impossible Kid is very self-aware. Aesop is getting older and wiser and wordier and more comfortable in all of the above. He addresses his position in relation to the rap game, the younger generation, personal relationships and society at large and that position consistently being the outsider. A fairly solid literary position, Albert Camus’ outsider was able to look a priest in the eye whilst on death row and express that he didn’t regret his actions but found the whole contrivance mildly annoying.

Rock obviously still cares about some things though, handling the production duties all on his own, it is not forty minutes of static or a throbbing sine wave. It is, however, heavily reminiscent of the Def Jux sound. It's informed by El-P’s brutish amalgam of lo-fi boom-bap adorned with futuristic synth work. Which is a knowing reprieve from constantly hearing about the folly of men.

Impossible Kid is dense; and with Aesop Rock fully embracing his difference the music is the most hip hop part while he is now more literary figure. Beat, satirical and challenging.

- NJR.


Album Details

Album Title: The Impossible Kid
Artist: Aesop Rock
Record Label: (Rhymesayers)