Max Bell taught Kate Upton the Cat Daddy.
A man and his cat should not be underestimated. The cat keeps man home, keeps man working to keep it alive and well fed. For the unfamiliar, the working man pictured above is Aesop Rock. He is forever buying cat food and thus forever on a roll. 2012’s Skelethon may have been his magnum opus; the new Hail Mary Mallon record is hilarious, knocks with the force of Bay area winds, and requires numerous listens to absorb all metaphors, similes, and rappity raps. Now he’s dropped the two-track Cat Food EP.
Originally released in December on a limited 7-inch only made available to devotees who purchased Rock’s Kid Robot collaborative vinyl toy “Whiskers”, Cat Food is another win to keep Rock balling at Petco.
“Cat Food” is produced by Blockhead, who undoubtedly remains Rock’s best collaborator. Featuring cavernous drums, spectral keys, and what I believe are bagpipes, the suite approximates aggressive and contented isolation. The Rock produced “Bug Zapper” is boom-bap turned laser led intergalactic assault, seamlessly tempered by haunting piano keys and grinding guitar.
Over both beats Rock details the life spent behind a keyboard, the feeling of bloodshot irises burning behind an LED screen long past midnight. After the more straight-forward raps on Hail Mary Mallon’s Bestiary, this marks a return to cryptic and coded form. Close listening reveals that Rock remains the king of self-deprecating yet unapologetic shut-ins. Good thing he has a cat.