Abstract rapper Aesop Rock gets 2015 started with a new 2 song EP titled “Cat Food” and shows that this year the California rhymer isn’t pussyfooting around.
The first track “Cat Food” features production by Blockhead, frequent producer for Aesop, as well as Billy Woods and Open Mike Eagle. The track starts with a distorted vocal line then Aesop comes in with a steely flow, dropping lines as the beat gains layers and momentum. Known for his lyrical prowess, Aesop doesn’t disappoint with bar such as “At night I wear a wolf’s head on my regular head/Considering a regular character sketch” the line referencing the 2007 music video for “None Shall Pass” in which he appears in a wolf costume. Since the release of this video Aesop feels he has changed but when he performs his older work he must pretend to be the same person he used to be. As the hook drifts in its clear Aesop has brought his best to this track and overall the beat does well to bring out Aesop’s gritty delivery.
Second track “Bug Zapper” is produced by the wordsmith himself, the track itself being about the endless trap of materialism in everyday life and our ultimate fate lying in the lethal bug zapper. Aesop’s flow is searching a at times desperate sounding, along the way referencing everything from Sisyphus to Billy Joel to a professional skater. The beat is once again complementary to Aesop’s approach, marrying fuzzed out guitar with some dissonant piano keys to soundtrack Aesop’s disgust in generational conformity.
Aesop’s 2014 was characterised by a strong feature on Busdriver joint “Ego Death” as well as “Bestiary” a collaborative album with Rob Sonic which was received to mixed reviews. This EP is the perfect start to a hopefully productive year for the cult rapper.
Review by Laurent Shervington