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Aesop Rock probably hates that we all still love “Daylight.” But, as this was my introduction to what would become a nearly 15-year obsession with the tall one who lurks through the streets of San Francisco (I have spotted him several times, once inside Upper Playground circa 2004), I give zero fucks. But, I’d like to think those of us who place Daylight on an equal platform with Bazooka Tooth, None Shall Pass and Aesop’s 2016 release The Impossible Kidcan do that.

Rap’s supposed to be a young man’s game, but Aesop’s only been improving as he’s gotten closer to middle age. He’s tackling different subject matter, going deep on topics like depression, his sometimes rocky relationships with his family, and the turbulent handful of years that culminated in Aesop leaving his adopted home of San Francisco to live in a barn out in the woods, where he recorded the foundations of The Impossible KidThe Impossible Kid, which finds Aesop still finding new ways to improve on the skills that have made him one of the kings of indie hip-hop. Part of the new creative process he brought to it includes a willingness to embrace the funny side that he kept quiet, when being taken as a serious lyricist was more of a priority. Combined with another newfound willingness to open up about his personal life, the bits of humor spiked throughout the album create a potent emotional cocktail. “Lotta Years” uses two short vignettes to meditate on outgrowing your corner of the culture while chuckling admiringly over the audacity of youth. “Blood Sandwich” recalls a couple of very weird scenes from his childhood starring his two brothers, told with the same combination of surreal comedy and genuine tenderness as a George Saunders story.

As you might have guessed, The Impossible Kid is a reference to Aesop himself, a person who’s spent his life doing things that seemed unthinkable before he just went and did them, blazing a visionary trail all his own. Two decades in, he’s still out there pushing it forward.

Monday, May 9, 2016 @ 8PM | The Fillmore | Tickets can be purchased here

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