Originally published at Suburbanapologist.com
Perhaps it’s the half-built tree house in your backyard that serves as a decaying catalyst, silently reminding you of all the broken promises you made to your kids every time you glance at it. Or maybe it’s the sudden urge to quit your job and blow through your retirement savings on a trip to Europe. Whatever it is; however it materializes; we’ve all felt deep regret one way or another.
Aesop Rock is no exception.
But instead of pushing that thought into the back of his head and ignoring it, he unpacks it, dwells on it and puts it on display for the world to see.
The Brooklyn-bred hip-hop demigod, Ian Matthias Bavitz, recently posted a new song “Rings” along with a music video on Facebook, teasing the release of his forthcoming album, The Impossible Kid. Almost three years the successor of 2012’s Skelethon, his new full-length LP is set to release April 29 via Rhymesayers Entertainment.
And if “Rings” is any indicator of what’s to come, this album will take you on an uninhibited journey through the mind of Aesop — quite literally — as the music video portrays a coroner dissecting Aesop’s head.
Watch it here:
Aesop fans will notice his flow is as refined as ever, expanding on the style of None Shall Pass and Skelethon. With “Rings,” his lyrics are notably more auto-biographical and less cryptic than his past releases. Hold off scoffing because Aesop doesn’t sacrifice the cerebral nature of his songs for mass appeal. “Rings” manages to find that perfect balance between lyric and narrative.
“What I find myself working on most these days in regards to my writing is attempting to insert my personality, sensibilities, humor, and ideas into my lyrics in a way that feels akin to my conversational self,” Aesop said in the Facebook post announcing the release. “Rings reflects on my failure as a visual artist, and some of the regret I’ve experienced in regards to not pursuing it further.”
Wasting no time, the first lines set a remorseful tone: “Used to draw / hard to admit that I used to draw,” juxtaposed with the visuals of a coroner taking the scalpel to his face in stop-motion. As his head opens up, we’re introduced to a ton of compartments and an inner-Aesop, a wooden mannequin doll running from the forceps of the coroner.
As verse one continues, inner Aesop paints the walls as he evades the snake-like forceps that are destroying everything in its wake and essentially removing the creativity from his mind. Aesop likens this removal of creativity to the education process in the lines: “Then it’s off to a school where it’s all that you do / being trained and observed by a capable few.”
The hook then comes in half-timing, and every word is emphasized – especially, “They will chop you down just to count your rings.”
As verse two comes in with “Used to paint / hard to admit that I used to paint,” inner Aes is apathetically sitting by his boom box.
He stopped running from the snake and was caught. Surgically removed.
So heed his warning, or be chopped down. Instead of blowing your savings on an I.D. crisis, finish building that damn tree house. Find an artistic outlet for your regret, and if your creativity has already been extracted, express it by proxy. Give “Rings” a listen and leave the rest to Aesop.
Let us know what you think! Do you like this new personal side of Aesop Rock?