For someone so closely related to a bygone era – the late 90's, the years of backpacker rap – Aesop Rock is aging rather well. At least, he is not giving up. Now part of the Rhymesyaers crew, he released in 2012 one of his finest albums, the self-produced Skelethon. And the year after, he launched The Uncluded, a duo with the Moldy Peaches's Kimya Dawson, somehow the counterpart of Aes for folk rock, its intellectual and bohemian side. Also, in 2014, he launched again a project he had initiated a few years earlier, Hail Mary Mallon, a trio with DJ Big Wiz, and another unsung hero of New-York's indie rap scene: Rob Sonic, of Sonic Sum.
The year 1999 has been, somehow, the apex of the indie rap times. And as such, it has been full of gems. The more we dug, the more marvels we discovered, released by small labels, or self-released. Appleseed had been one of these. With its 8 tracks, this small CD, sold directly by the rapper on his website, created a small buzz on the Internet. It also helped propelling the career of Ian Bavitz, a.k.a. Aesop Rock, an MC and producer based in Boston, but originally from Long Island, who had emerged two years before with a first album, Music for Earthworms.
Stimulated by the rise of a new generation of creative artists, the old underground from the late 90's is currently looking like it is back from the dead. In 2012, several of its key players - El-P, Bigg Jus, Brother Ali, I Self Devine, Busdriver, Dose One, Radioinactive, and even Mhz - released an album sometimes after long years of silence. The most relevant of all, though, may very well be Aesop Rock.
His name may not have made its way yet, out of the underground, but Aesop Rock's career is definitely on an ascending path. Three years after Music for Earthworms, and less than one year after a short but intense Appleseed – an indie classic, already – the MC and beatmaker from Boston has finally joined a real label, Mush Records. To show his confidence, he is releasing today no less than a double-vinyl album, Float. Also, as a proof of his growing notoriety, some indie big names are guest appearing there: not only Dose One, as on the previous record, but also Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire, and Slug of Atmosphere.