Underground rap veteran Aesop Rock is back with Skelethon, his sixth LP and first in five years. We’ve previously heard the great singles ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘ and ‘ZZZ Top‘, and now the entire album is available to stream via Rhymesayers’ YouTube. The release has unfortunate timing, with Frank Ocean’s masterpiece Channel Orange currently dominating headlines and headphones, but that doesn’t change the fact that Aes has come back with a remarkably strong album. For the first time on an Aesop Rock album, there are no Blockhead or El-P beats to be heard here, with Aes handling production duties himself. And he does an admirable job, switching between samples and live instrumentation, psychedelic guitars and horror keys, 808s and drum thrashes. You won’t even find the expected cameos here, as aside from Kimya Dawson’s (The Moldy Peaches) great turn on ‘Crows 1’, Skelethon is all Aes. This is a good thing, as his rapping has arguably never been better, and Aes’s vivid, dark lyrics are as typically dense and study-worthy as ever. While former Def Jux CEO and pal El-P set the bar rather high for 2012 hip-hop with his superb Cancer For Cure – as well as his hand in Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music – Aesop Rock has delivered a focussed, worthy comeback album which deserves just as much praise.
Skelethon is out now. Stream it below.
For previous posts on Aesop Rock, hit the links below: