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Modern Aesop with a little Rock

In 6th century B.C., a slave named Aesop told considerably brief fables. But the fables, despite their length, exemplify human idiocies, assets and frailty. When Ian Bavitz tells his common day fables, the subject matter is often the same. The biggest difference is his “fables” are produced at the beat labs at Definitive Jux.

Despite the creativity-binding shackles of mainstream rap, Aesop Rock has managed to grow in popularity, quickly becoming one of the more popular emcees on the Definitive Jux label. Currently on tour with Mr. Lif, C-Rayz Walz and DJ Fakts One, Aesop is bringing his machine-gun firing rhyming style to Tampa.

The tour comes on the heels of Aesop’s third full-length, Bazooka Tooth, named for the artist’s alter-ego. The record presents Aesop’s take on the supposed demise of hip hop, the current state of America and his early years as a New Yorker.

Featuring cameos by Camp Lo and Mr. Lif, Bazooka Tooth blasts with underground creativity and style.

With a hearty amount of commentary on the common ills of hip-hop culture, Aesop ventures to comment, “Fraggle rock the four-figure watch/ I clock 99-cent wristbands and still know the time when your record stops,” holding rap accountable for its bass ackwardness.

“Babies With Guns” relates how easy it is to get a gun in America. The song focuses on the violence that is steadily becoming prevalent in America and warns that kids are having mid-life crises before they turn 10. The song offers a simple tribute to Jam Master Jay, killed in October, 2002.

Aesop Rock, in addition to writing cruise-control lyrics, produced most of the album himself with some help from beat-wizards Blockhead and El-P.

Many of Aesop’s multi-tiered beats sound as if they are composed of samples from dust-covered albums, including Italian disco records and retro video game music.

Utilizing these and many other unorthodox music capsules, Aesop Rock shows that one man’s crate-fillers can help create another’s musical masterpieces.

Aesop grew up surrounded by emcees and graffiti, and his powerful connection to hip hop is apparent throughout his critical lyrics. His music is purely innovative, as opposed to the unoriginal rap songs that seem to be all over the radio.

Aesop and the other artists on Def Jux represent the future of hip hop, moving crowds with their potent messages, celestial beats and eclectic rhyme flow.

His music reflects on life as a normal person, rather than someone who cashes in on the mainstream.

With no glitz or overproduction, Aesop represents a true form of hip hop that is raw and so far underground that a shovel might be good thing to take to his upcoming show.

Just as the 6th-century fable master, Aesop Rock’s thoughtful and challenging lyrical poetry offers fables for a new generation of hip hop. Wide-eyed and moral-filled, Aesop has broken the chains.