June 17, 2014

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Will Hagle reverse engineered his backpack.

In my head I am creating a roster for an All Star team of rappers that I mostly can’t understand but still recognize as genius. For some reason it is a baseball team but Tony Parker is still MVP, MF Doom is behind the plate in a catcher’s mask and Young Thug is this year’s Yasiel Puig (and I have yet to catch Thugmania). This imaginary squad is as pointless as the actual All Star Game, but it is an easy way for me to explain how I feel about Busdriver, Aesop Rock and Danny Brown, all of whom would be in the starting lineup.

Those three are conveniently also on a new song called “Ego Death” together. It was produced by Jerimiah Jae, who doesn’t meet the aforementioned qualifications but does add to the track’s overall all star status in a different form.

It seems like Busdriver drops a new project every year or so, and this song is scheduled to appear on his forthcoming Perfect Hair LP.

He and Aesop Rock’s albums have always been impossible to listen to passively. They both bend minds with lyrical dexterity, best consumed with a lyric booklet and a dictionary on hand. They also both have vocabularies large enough that they’d use a million better synonyms before settling for a description as simple as “lyrical dexterity,” but that is why I am not on the imaginary All Star squad and only writing about it.

The six minute span of this song gives each artist enough room to flex, Jeremiah Jae included. Upon first listen, the only words I heard were “Quacktastic” and “playing patty cake with Ira Glass.” The rest was a swirl of words that sounded good together but not yet in an understandable way — Busdriver flowing in rapid-fire mode, Aesop sharply enunciating certain words while tearing through others, Danny Brown spazzing out in his high register. It typically takes a few repeated plays to fully digest these fellows, but that’s how you unravel the genius beneath it all. The only way to understand Tony Parker is via Google Translate, and I can only assume lines like “For you, I would have won without the moon rocket” are genius when you hear them in French.


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