On last year’s None Shall Pass tour, Aesop tabbed Pittsburgh psych weirdos Black Moth Super Rainbow to open for him. It was an inspired move and one that I recommend more rappers do, lest I get stuck standing stupidly watching a bunch of mush-mouthed Myspace MC’s clinging to arbitrary 20th Century notions of what constitutes “underground rap.” (And why are you kids still wasting your night handing CD’s outside the show? Haven’t you heard of the Internet? )
Superficially, the pairing of Black Moth Super Rainbow front-man, Tobacco would make for a weird mix. They’re hippie-freaks from the woods outside of Pittsburgh who play Richard Simmons videos at their concerts and name themselves after cash crops. Aesop is a misanthropic, hyper-syllabic B-boy from New York who used to call himself “Bazooka Tooth.” Then again, marijuana has been known for its keen ability to unite seemingly disparate entities. Not to mention that last year’s Dandelion Gum, with its woozy drum machines, cavernous mellotrons and pink bubblegum and LSD vibe, felt more like a cross between Moon Safari-era Air and Edan’s Beauty and the Beat record than it did “indie rock”.
This lazy Summer, aesthetic meshes nicely with Aesop’s thinking man’s stoner sensibility on “Dirt.” Over Tobacco’s fractured pop, Aesop falls back in the pocket and takes rapid jabs at the beat, rather than trying to overwhelm it to prove his virtuosity. It’s a wise move and it makes for my favorite psych-rap song since “Beauty.” Not to mention the thing got heavy burn on my iPod all day Sunday. Just listening to it, you can catch a contact.
MP3: Tobacco ft. Aesop Rock-“Dirt”
From Black Moth Super Rainbow-Dandelion Gum
From the Split Collaboration with Octopus Project, The House of Apples and Eyeball
From Start a People
MP3: Black Moth Super Rainbow-“Vietcaterpillar”