Aesop Rock really isn't that deep. His lyrics are mostly non sequitur, with random 'epic' imagery, and cultural references that he intentionally obfuscates for the sake of obfuscation.
Here, I can do it too:
mythologic sick wisdom spit by angels with a penchant for absinthe alcoholic demons disseminate semen during the apocalypse metaphysic calypso, ipso facto is so in tune with the harps of heaven, mark me brethren and sisters of the second coming rummaging through their history like ogres through layered onions a small child breathes its first breath through the last trumpet the winged ones plummet from the holy summit empty-handed while an entry-level handyman wrenches closed the pipes in the Mayan Andes land in candyland gingerbread stick-bone stone-breaker a mouth of rubies made liquid like sanguine punches to the throat of soul overthrow the old ones so the new can flourish on the porridge of gold
That has no flow though, and he doesn't really make pop culture references from what I've heard. Lots of typical arch typal imagery, which fits his name- Aesop Rock. Your complaint of 'i can do it so it's too gimmicky' is kinda lame, when his name pretty much tells you what you're gonna get. That's like buying cereal and getting pissed there's no steak in the box.
That's entirely dependent on how you say it, what cadences and stresses and pauses you choose to use
He does make some, but that's also not what I said. I said cultural references. This can include anything from history, art, religion, whatever. Culture is a term that is inclusive of most human activity.
>Your complain of 'i can do it so it's too gimmicky' is kinda lame
That's a fair point. I suppose on this front I'm guilty of the same sort of blase criticism that modern art receives 'anybody could do that' etc.
So, I take your point in that regard.
>That's like buying cereal and getting pissed there's no steak in the box.
That's fair in some respect too, but it's annoying when scores of people eat cereal and then talk about how it was the most subtle, refined fois gras they've ever consumed--which is how a lot of Aesop fans come off to me.
That being said, I think there is a point where you can criticize art for its ambitions, even if it fulfills those ambitions. I've been listening to hip-hop for a long ass time and Aesop Rock since I was in my teens. I quickly got bored because despite his '2deep4u' lyrical style, his music all started sounding exactly the same to me after a while. He feels stagnant to me, but perhaps I'm not as acquainted with his catalog as I once was.
Is there anything where he has pushed beyond just burying his references, opinions, and ideas behind intentionally baroque and obfuscatory parlor-tricks?
No, I don't think obscurity is inherently bad. Some things are just obscure. For example, if I talk in detail about a topic that not many people know about, then I will inevitably use obscure language and jargon. By definition, not many people are aware of the topic, and thus they will also probably not be aware of the specific terminology used within and about that topic. Fine.
That's a bit different than doing something like unironically calling a toothbrush a poly-plastic oral-calcium-deposit polisher. Not that Aesop has done that, specifically, but I am attempting to illustrate the difference between something that happens to be obscure, and something that you try to make obscure for the sake of obscurity.
let's look at the popular comments on one of his classics:
>I love esoteric rappers, they prove they can go deeper than any rapper that you claim spits deep lyrics haha.
>Ever hear something that lyrically assassinates your thought process? That right there is simply a work of art.
>when people say rap music has no meaning I always play this or a ra the rugged man track. always alot of silence after of course.
>this shit is deep
>Speechless, some serious mind cracking rhymes, Aesop rock is simply defeatless, in a couple of minutes Rock did his PhD thesis.
>I love how people are dissing this just because they can't understand the lyrics fully. Keep to Kanye West if you're having a hard time understanding words more complex than what you learned in 6th grade English class.
>Behind Eminem, this guy has some of the best lyrics in the rap genre
>this origami dream is beautiful, pull the tail watch the wings flap, but you really cant do a thing with that.. Aesop continues to astound
>Aesop's metaphors are just incredible, they can interpreted in so many ways. Genius.
>damn aesop is so deep i can feel him in my heart
>I was listening to Aesop Rock all morning then tried to read some Shakespeare but got bored because it seemed too simplistic.
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