Artist

Aesop Rock

Building on the rapping style of eccentrics Kool Keith and Del the Funky Homosapien, Def Jux headliner Aesop Rock became one of the hottest MCs in the post-millennial underground.

After a pair of self-released LPs (Appleseed, Music for Earthworms), he recorded Float for Mush in 2000. The former Ian Bavitz then issued a pair of singles -- "Coma" and "Boom Box" -- for another underground rap label paragon, Definitive Jux. His second full-length, 2001's Labor Days, earned positive reviews and featured production from El-P and Blockhead. The Daylight EP kept his name in the papers, and his Def Jux follow-up, Bazooka Tooth, was released in September 2003. A seven-track EP, Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives, followed in early 2005.

In early 2007 Aesop Rock composed a 45-minute piece for Nike's Original Run series, a continuous track meant to be listened to while jogging (other artists included LCD Soundsystem and the Crystal Method), and by September his much-anticipated full-length, None Shall Pass, which included guest appearances from El-P and John Darnielle (from the Mountain Goats), came out. A year later, Def Jux would be put "on hiatus" by label head El-P, but Aesop would remain busy, producing major works like Felt's 2009 effort Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez and working on a collaboration with the Moldy Peaches' Kimya Dawson dubbed the Uncluded. He would return to his solo career in 2012 with Skelethon, released by the Rhymesayers label. The album featured a guest appearance from Dawson along with Rob Sonic and Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi

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