The Impossible Kid | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

The Impossible Kid 

Aesop Rock ushers in his 40th year with a new album and a new tour

As a rapper who's now 40, Aesop Rock doesn't have much company in pursuing his goal to stay relevant, grow his audience and continue to progress musically.

"I have very few role models in rap that are still not only going, but really trying to push what they've done somewhere new," Aesop (real name Ian Bavitz) said. "It's actually pretty disheartening.  Sure—you could name me a handful of older rappers that still do it, fine. But there's no real precedent for continued progress to be the norm. People hang it up, or fall off or just get involved in other endeavors. It's also difficult to pop my head up and attempt to compete for promo space with the newest 20-year-old who is out there killing it. It's much harder to say, 'Hey, I'm still here,' no matter what the product sounds like."

What might work in Aesop's favor is he is still a fairly fresh face, at least when it comes to the hip-hop mainstream. He didn't just burst onto the scene with a major label deal and an initial breakout hit or two. Instead, Aesop spent much of his career in indie and underground rap circles.

A graduate of Boston University, he self-released a full-length album and EP before getting signed by Mush Records and releasing his full-fledged debut, "Float," in 2000. He then signed to El-P's Def Jux label, releasing five full-length albums (the last of which, 2007's "None Shall Pass," debuted at No. 50 on Billboard magazine's all-genre Top 200 album chart). By that time, Aesop had begun to emerge from the underground scene and was making his presence felt in the mainstream hip-hop/rap world. His deal with Def Jux ended when the label was put on "hiatus" in 2010.

Aesop then surfaced on the Rhymesayers label in 2011, collaborating with producer/rapper and former Def Jux labelmate Rob Sonic in the group Hail Mary Mallon, before his next solo album, "Skelethon," arrived a year later. That album debuted at No. 21 on the Top 200 album chart and No. 1 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart and found Aesop gaining more of a mainstream music audience.

"The path I took is just me taking baby steps in an attempt to stay comfortable," Aseop said. "Being underground, or less popular, etc, it's just a side effect of what I did anyway. I liked a scene that wasn't really that popular to begin with. This is all niche s***. As I got older I attempted to twist it into a job, which so far has maintained.  But this is the only path I've really known. I always just do my thing and assume people will seek it out if they're that interested."

Now with his new album "The Impossible Kid," Aesop appears poised to further expand his audience. The album has received strong reviews and opened at No. 2 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart and No. 3 on its Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while checking in at No. 30 on the Top 200.

The reality of reaching age 40 was a major source for inspiration for "The Impossible Kid."

"That's pretty much what 'The Impossible Kid' is largely about, just kinda staring at 40 and thinking, OK, what now?" he said. "It's a lot of reflective songs, and some are even an attempt to re-gather and not let old baggage hold me back. I do have this desire as of late to diversify and really attempt to get involved in as much as possible. My skill set is so niche, that it starts getting a little scary at my age. I don't know what I want it to be. I just want to learn to be happy."

Aesop Rock with Homeboy Sandman, Rob Sonic, DJ Zone

Saturday, Nov. 26, 7pm

Domino Room

51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend

$20

All ages

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
  • Life in the 'Badlands' ▶ [with video]

    Life in the 'Badlands' ▶ [with video]

    Casey Parnell's debut solo album is set to the background of nature
    • Jul 29, 2020
Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Kenny Hadden

Kenny Hadden - Crosscut Warming Hut No 5

Wed., July 28, 6-9 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

  • "Shoot The Moon"

    • Jul 21, 2021
    Jeshua Marshall's new single is the first step toward the Redmond musician's debut solo album this fall More »
  • Artist Fact Sheet: Madison Cunningham

    • Jul 14, 2021
    The Grammy-nominee heads to town for a Sisters Folk Festival show More »
  • Fighting for Their Rights

    • Jul 7, 2021
    Songwriters battle for royalties, sometimes clashing with the artists who sing their songs More »
  • More »

More by Alan Sculley

  • Give the Gift of Music

    Give the Gift of Music

    Box sets and album reissues were the name of the game in 2020, and they'll look great under the tree this year
    • Dec 9, 2020
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation