Aesop Rock – one of the most lyrically gifted MCs


Aesop Rock writes the most interesting lyrics I’ve ever heard in hip-hop. Just listen to Daylight and None Shall Pass and really listen to the lyrics. Fantastic stuff. If you want to read what they mean – check them out on Rapgenius.

This is what Aesop Rock (Ian Matthias Bavitz) said when asked about his lyrical style:

It’s probably because it’s not the most accessible music in the world. It may pose a slight challenge to the listener beyond your average pop song. I’m no genius by a long shot, but these songs are not nonsensical, that’s pretty preposterous. I’d have to be a genius to pull this many nonsensical records over people’s eyes. It’s not exactly fast food but when people pretend I’m just spewing non-sequiturs and gibberish I can’t help but think they simply haven’t listened and are regurgitating some rumor they’ve heard about me. Even if it’s not laid out in perfect sentences—is any rap?—you’d have to be an idiot to not at least grasp a few things from these songs. Or have had no interest in pulling anything from them in the first place.

The lyrics of Daylight:

Yo…put one up shackle me, not clean logic procreation
I did not invent the wheel I was the crooked spoke adjacent
While the triple sixers lassos keep angels roped in the basement
I walk the block with a halo and a stick poking your patience
Ya’ll catch a 30 second flash visual
Dirty cooperative net platoon bloom head trip split Ridiculous
fathom the splicing of first generation
fuck up or trickle down anti hero smack (Cracking!)
I paste me game to zero hour completion greeting (Splash!)
Duke of early retirement pick a dream
American nightmare hogging the screen
I’ll hold the door open so you can stumble in
if you’d stop following me around the jungle gym
Now it’s honor and I spell it with the ‘H’ I stole from heritage
Merit crutch stole the wretched refuse of my teaming resonance
I promise temperance toward breed with a leaning conscious
Here the creed acts since responsive but my sports the war’s the wattage
And I’m sleeping now (Wow!) Yeah the settlers laugh
You won’t be laughing when your covered wagons crash
You won’t be laughing when the buzzards drag your brother’s flags to rags
You won’t be laughing when your front lawn’s spangled with epitaphs
You won’t be laughing
And I hang my boots to rest when I’m impressed
So I triple knot em and forgot em
This origami dream is beautiful
but man those wings will never leave the ground
Without a feather and a lottery ticket, now settle down

All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day,
put the pieces back together my way.
All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day,
put the pieces back together my way.
All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day,
put the pieces back together my way.
All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day,
put the pieces back together my way.

Slacker bound intimate tabloid headlined with the pulse
Shimmy cross the centerfold, at a dead time engulfed
Diddy crumbs for the better souls with seven deadly stains
That hit a flame to crystal conscious
To results a low life counting on one hand what he’s accomplished
Ok, link me to activism chain activate street sweep
Plug deteriorating xenobit Pendragon
I hock swords cores for the morbid spreading of mad men
(alley gospel)
Sinking their lincoln-log cabin and Charlie Chaplin waddle
I could zig zag and zig ’em again for the badge gleam
Sparker than my brick wall windows another thick installment of one night in Gotham without the wretched
Houston we have a problem
Attach an infested batch of city goblins
Who split holiday freak on a box cut cinema high road bellow
Head rips Watch red bricks turn yellow
Sort of similar to most backbones at camp Icarus
Were all feeling crimes congregating at pamper for bickering
Life’s not a bitch life is a beautiful woman
Your only call her a bitch because she won’t let you get that pussy
Maybe she didn’t feel y’all shared any similar interests
Or maybe you’re just an asshole who couldn’t sweet talk the princess
Kiss the speaker wire Peter Pacifism pagan thresh hold
Stomach full of halo kibbles
Wings span cast black of porn visuals hear the duck hunt ticker tape
Vision and pick apart the pixels
I got a friend of polar nature and it’s all peace
When I seek similar stars but can’t sit at the same feast
Metal Captain!
This cat is asking if I’ve seen his little lost passion
I told him: “Yeah, but only when I pedaled past him”

None Shall Pass

[Verse 1]
Flash that buttery gold, jittery zeitgeist
Wither by the watering hole, Border patrol
What are we to Heart Huckabee
Art fuckery suddenly
Not enough young in his lung for the water wings
Colorfully vulgar poacher, out of mulch
Like I’m a pull the pulse out a soldier and bolt
Fine, sign of the time we elapse
When a primate climb up a spine and attach
Eye for an eye, by the bog life swamps and vines
They get a rise out of frogs and flies
So when a dogfight’s hog-tied prize sort of costs a life
The mouths water on a fork and knife
And the allure isn’t right
No score on a war-torn beach
Where the cash cow’s actually beef
Blood turns wine when it leak for police
Like that’s not a riot it’s a feast, let’s eat

And I will remember your name and face
On the day you are judged by the funhouse cast
And I will rejoice in your fall from grace
With a cane to the sky like none shall pass
None shall pass
None shall pass

[Verse 2]
Now if you never had a day a snow cone couldn’t fix
You wouldn’t relate to the rogue vocoder blitz
How he spoke through a NoDoz motor on the fritz
Cause he wouldn’t play rollover fetch like a bitch
And express no regrets, though he isn’t worth a homeowner’s piss
To the jokers who pose by the glitz
Fine sign of the swine in the swarm
When a king is a whore who comply and conform
Miles outside of the eye of the storm
With a siphon to lure out a prize and award
While avoiding the vile and bizarre that is violence and war
True blue triumph is more
Like wait, let him snake up out of the centerfold
Let it break the walls of Jericho, ready go
Sat where the old, cardboard city folk
Swap tales with heads like every other penny throw

And I will remember your name and face
On the day you are judged by The Funhouse cast
And I will rejoice in your fall from grace
With a cane to the sky like none shall pass
None shall pass
None shall pass

You tried, you tried, you tried to trick me
You’ve got a, you’ve, you’ve got a, a lot of nerve
I’m, I’m not, I’m not, trying to trick you
I’m try, I’m try, I’m trying to help

[Verse 3]
Okay woke to a grocery list, goes like this
Duty and death anyone object, come stand in the way
You could be my little Snake River Canyon today
And I ran with a chain of commands
And a jetpack strapped where the backstab lands if it can
Fine sign of the vibe in the crowd
When I cut a belly open to find what climb out
That’s quite a bit of gusto he muster up
To make a dark horse rush like enough’s enough
It must’ve struck a nerve so they huff and puff
Till all the king’s men fluster and clusterfuck
And it’s a beautiful thing
To my people who keep an impressive wingspan
Even when the cubicle shrink
You got to pull up the intruder by the root of the weed
And march him through the machine

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Jonas: Writer. Talker. Thinker. Wine drinker. Brand builder. Tennis player. Family guy.

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