Aesop Rock

I’m hesitant to file Aesop Rock under “rap” because I’ve learned that you’re statistically less likely to listen to it if I do (shame on you). That said, he does rap…but his music draws on influences ranging from art pop to beatnik jazz to first-wave electro and so on. Just depends at what moment you catch him. The only constant is Aesop’s dizzying flow and fertile narratives.

These two tracks will give you a taste of how his work has evolved over time: “Basic Cable” comes from his first label-released album and “None Shall Pass” is the single from his brand-new album. However, if you’re looking to start your Aesop Rock collection, I still recommend 2001’s Labor Days.

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Mr. Lif

Mr. Lif has made a name for himself as a dry-witted, raspy-voiced MC whose favorite topics tend toward the sociopolicical. No change here with his latest solo album, Mo’ Mega, as he rakes the current administration over the coals without flinching. Lif is equally skilled at, though less famous for, is more playful braggadocio as evidenced on his collabo with Cut Chemist. Download both for a “fair and balanced” playlist (just kidding).

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