Vinyl Vlog 152

Vinyl Vlog 152

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the The Impossible Kid LP by Aesop Rock.

I remember the moment that the world of Hip Hop was opened to me. Years ago, I was interviewing Dillinger Four at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, talking to their bass player about music. He said something along the lines of mainstream rap being in a deplorable state; to the effect that standards and quality control didn’t exist anymore – in his opinion. Lucky for me, I had a rap aficionado friend who immediately approved of this sentiment. I told him one of the reasons I shied away from rap music was how uninteresting I found the musical content and how tiresome I found this whole bravado thing. Not to worry, he told me, and burnt me my first rap CD: Aesop Rock’s Float.

After that, nothing was the same.

Aesop Rock proved to me that not only was (is) mainstream rap laughable compared to the independent stuff, that independent stuff was what actually mattered – but those on the inside of the scene already knew that.

The best way to talk about Aesop Rock’s reputation is to reference that popular “research” article which looked at how many unique words rappers use in the music they write. Aesop Rock wasn’t just at the top, he was off the chart. The scales had to be re-adjusted to accommodate him. This should speak volumes on his artistic merit.

More importantly, Aesop Rock has continued with a steady output of stellar music over the years and his latest, The Impossible Kid, is no different. Withdrawing to the woods in Washington and looking inward, the contents of The Impossible Kid deal with self-discovery, self-definition and isolation. Whether he’s rhyming about his cat, his therapist, his family or his lack of cool, it’s perfectly evident that his throne as the wordiest rapper is well earned. These songs read like poetry and, layered over his beats which are a little more haunting and much more guitar-driven than his previous work, we’re left with an album which is unique, familiar and interesting. The Impossible Kid is an outstanding highlight in year already filled with great music.

But let’s talk about the vinyl release now, which is oh-so beautiful. Rhymesayers has outdone itself this time; The Impossible Kid comes on a double-LP pressing of pink and green, on a die-cut sleeve and packing a large sixteen-page foldout poster highlighting the cool artwork Aesop Rock likes to associate with. It is simply a gorgeous record that proves music is still worth owning.

Whether The Impossible Kid is one of the best albums out this year is undeniable. What it also might be is the best album of 2016.



The Impossible Kid is available now on vinyl, CD and as a digital download. Buy it here on Amazon.


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