AESOP ROCK IS THE MAN.
HE JUST DON'T LIKE BUSTING HIS GUT FOR HIM.
Whilst underground hip hop remains stuck in reverse, New York's Def Jux label is mercilessly crushing underachievers. The Gotham City label's latest recruit Aesop Rock openly acknowledges the indelible influence of label boss El-P on his humble beginnings.
"It's because El-P had the independent thing on lock. He almost kicked the thing off in New York. Obviously people had been doing small stuff for years. But Company Flow were like the first group to be saying, 'Hey, we're independent, and it's not because we have to be, it's because we want to be, and we're proud of it," states Mr Rock.
With the likes of Company Flow and The Arsonists having paved the way for starving B-boys to vote indie, this Long Island-born, Caucasian rapper represents the independent sector's next generation. He emerged from friendly fire freestyle jams and internet flame wars with his DIY debut 'Music For Earthworms' in 1997.
Having sold his first two releases out of the back of a car, the bull-free rapper's singularly raw baritone boom attracted subterranean specialists Mush, who subsequently released the fire and brimstone flow of 'Float'. And it was this beguiling record's blue notes and obese beats care of Blockhead's production precision which attracted the open invite from El-Producto.
For his latest release 'Labor Days', Aesop stays true to the atmospheric fusion of melancholic jazz and low end funk which elevated 'Float' to backpacker bible status. Neither abstract nor jiggy, the crux of the blue collar rapper's admirable delivery is his opposition to the weekly slave trade.
"The labour concept comes from me having the problem most people have, which is basically doing a job 40 hours a week that I hate," he spits. "I'm sick of waking up and putting in all these hours for someone I don't give a fuck about."