clap clap blog: we have moved

Thursday, October 23, 2003
Now, if you didn't know anything about the principals involved, would this description make you think they were talking about a major-label rap album or an undie one?

The other shift is in subject matter, where Bavitz avoids a singular album topic (Labor Days) or a far too scattered listening experience (Float). Aes tackles a variety of concepts, including the emergence of young killers ("Babies with Guns"), fondness for his home state ("N.Y. Electric", "No Jumper Cables"), and disillusionment with the media ("Bazooka Tooth", "Easy"), all the while offering his usual mix of hard-edged rhyme schemes ("Park your bets, sharks or jets/ It's bark marked targets where the barnacles nest") and clever idioms ("They burrow deep under the carnivore's flesh, without a trace/ Carnival games, like try to shoot the star out of his space").

The most talked-about song to develop from an album that stands as an individual manifesto is the one that has the least to do with Aesop's personal life. "We're Famous" features Def Jux CEO El-P in what serves as a company mission statement, Demigodz diss, and subterranean "Grindin'" response all in one. Cycling through harsh jackhammer synth stabs, toy gun alien abduction crescendos, and a crunk funk handclap-assisted drum line, El-Producto lambasts critics claiming "hip-hop's over", disses Esoteric ("You ain't a vet, you're just old"; "Some of these faggots used to send me their demos/ Breeding their puppy styles in the Company Flow kennels") and closes the verse with, "I'll slap the shit out of you to continue my nerd rap/ I'm making this money fist over fist, fuck what you heard." Aesop doesn't let the topic drop, claiming "the revolution will not be apologized for" and "b-boy, feed that to the needy/ Check your liquor hole, fuck you in 3-D, easy." The one-two combination makes for one of the most addictive diss tracks this side of Jay-Z's classic "The Takeover".

My vote would be for major-label, and not in that good, Jay-Z/Ludacris/Eminem way--more in that third Nas album way. Street violence? The fickle media? Sheesh, Ian [not Adam, ahem, sorry about that], we do still remember you're a big ol' Jew from Northport. (And, if these samples are anything to be believed, not the best lyricist in the world, either, but I kinda hate the Def Jux flow.) Dwelling on these subjects makes you sound a lot more like Phil Collins than 50 Cent. (c.f. "Land of Confusion," "Another Day in Paradise.") And "the revolution"? Please. Y'all know what I'm gonna say about that one.

The themes we're talking about here can be explored in very interesting ways (see Jay's oeuvre) but not when you have the size stick up your ass that Aesop apparently does.