Friday, January 21, 2011

Aesop Rock - Bazooka Tooth (2003)

After listening to Bazooka Tooth for the first time, which I picked up on a whim at Reckless Records, the only knowledge (or maybe understanding is a better word) I pulled from it was that Aesop would now like all of us to call him Bazooka Tooth, which based on the cover art is most likely some callback to a nickname in his childhood. After one full listen, I'm just not sure how to feel about the guy. It's an incredibly abstract and equally difficult album to get through because there's so much going on. He's likely very intelligent and it shows in his dynamic wordplay, but his tongue twisters more often than not just wind up being uninspired bowls of word soup.

It's such an interesting record because while it's so densely packed with more references than Lupe's brain could process, it is for this same reason that the album sometimes gives me a headache. It's super fast conscious lyrics over extreme low-end soaked gangster beats, and I can almost never understand what he's drawling about. It's an album you have to read the lyrics along with in order to get anything out of it. "NY Electric", "Limelighters", and "Cook It Up" seem to be the best tracks because they break up Aesop's lines with other Minnesota hip-hop cats. I suppose I apologize for making my review as disjointed as Aesop's lyrical content, but I'd recommend giving it a try yourself.

"While half of the critics claim it every year: "Hip hop's over."
Fuck you, hip hop just started
It's funny how the most nostalgic cats are the ones who were never part of it
But true veterans'll give dap to those who started it"



  2. Hmmmm interesting take on Aesop. Personally, I started my Aesop Rock listening experience with Labor Days and the Daylight EP a while back, probably a year after they came out (be sure to check out Labor Days if you haven't before, easily his best). Of course his flow IS hard to digest at times, and I fully agree Bazooka Tooth is a very densely packed album capable of making one's head spin. But I have to disagree with your comment "but his tongue twisters more often than not just wind up being uninspired bowls of word soup." I find him to be one of the more compelling hip-hop lyricists, although I'll admit None Shall Pass didn't do it for me like his earlier stuff. Regardless of our difference of opinion, thanks for the great post, and keep up the excellent site!

  3. I do love the scene he's a part of and pushing for, I'll definitely check out Labor Days. appreciate the comment.

  4. Hey Labor Days is definitely where its at. Haven't heard bazooka tooth though. This is a really cool site btw. You're right about having to take apart certain rhymes of his. Sometimes just isolating them helps make the song make sense:
    Like from "Daylight":
    Life's a bitch. Life's not a bitch. You just call her a bitch cuz she won't let you get that pussy.
    Or another one from Labor Days:
    If the revolution ain't gonna be televised then fuck, I probably missed it.
    Cool Stuff