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Five things I wrote in my notebook at Aesop Rock

Photo: Bill Hughes
Chris Bitonti

1. The fans packed inside Las Vegas Country Saloon (now sans mechanical bull) reflect the cross-section of genres Aesop spans: nerd rap, stoner rap and old-school hip-hop, equally represented in the crowd.

2. Disappointed to discover that local favorites HighDro and Ekoh have been cut from the bill last minute and without explanation.

3. One lucky fan wins an audience drawing. Grand prize: getting his head shaved onstage by opening group Dark Time Sunshine during Aesop’s new haircut-themed jam “Racing Stripe.” I’m extremely jealous.

4. Aesop Rock is flanked onstage by Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. The trio doesn’t look like your stereotypical hip-hop group—they’re unkempt, slightly goofy and all white—but any preconceived notions are dispelled once they start. The three men burn through an almost two-hour set, pulling tracks from 2000’s Float, 2003’s Bazooka Tooth and 2007’s None Shall Pass, plus a few off the freshly released Skelethon.

5. Aesop and Rob’s masterful back-and-forth flow mixes a Ginsberg-esque stream-of-consciousness spit with a throwback Cypress Hill-style cadence. Aesop has long defied conventional hip-hop classification, and cuts off Skelethon continue to carve out his unique place in modern rap.


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