The new single, “Pumpkin Seeds,” was released Friday (December 9) in an effort to help a Dayton, Ohio based non-profit called The Collaboratory, which, according to its website, aims to create an “infrastructure for people and organizations to collaboratively develop community initiatives that generate new economic, civic and creative opportunities and value.”
Proceeds from the new Aesop Rock and Lupe Fiasco track will help the organization rehabilitate two local DIY skate parks: the Claridge Park DIY in Central Dayton and the Home Ave DIY in West Dayton.
Fans can support the initiative by purchasing “Pumpkin Seeds” through Aesop Rock’s website, or that of his label, Rhymesayers Entertainment; or by streaming the song on their preferred streaming platform.
In addition to the new Blockhead-produced release, Aesop and Rhymesayers announced a capsule collection of “Pumpkin Seeds” merch that will also support The Collaboratory’s work: a limited 7” vinyl edition — available in black and two other deluxe colored editions; an exclusive “Pumpkin Seeds” shirt; and two skate deck designs, for which both websites are currently accepting pre-orders.
The merch capsule won’t see it’s official release until February 7.
Though the new track appears to be Aesop Rock first appearance on a record alongside Lupe Fiasco, it builds on a 20-year history of working with Blockhead. The producer is responsible for two of the Long Island MC’s biggest songs to date, 2002’s “Daylight” and 2007’s “None Shall Pass.”
In 2021, Aesop Rock and Blockhead delivered their first full album together, Garbology. According to the Rhymesayers website, the project began taking shape in early 2020, after the loss of a close friend left the rapper feeling uninspired.
“The world got real weird during those months,” he explained. “I knew at some point I had to get back to making something. Make a beat. Draw a picture. Write. Just go. But the idea of making a beat felt like math homework, and drawing is just so hard. Writing is hard too, but at some point I had to pick one.”
Ahead of the release, Blockhead told HipHopDX that the project came together pretty organically.
“I was playing a show in Portland and got dinner with Aesop, and he was like, ‘You got any beats?’ and I was like ‘I sure do,'” he recalled. “I sent him some beats and shortly after that, the pandemic started. I don’t think we really knew or had a plan when we started.
“He just started making songs and all of a sudden it was like, ‘Hey, we should just make a whole album.’ And that’s what happened. I think it helped us both to pass the time during the pandemic.”