Acting as Def Jux’s first release of 2002, Aesop Rock is cementing his status as the future of underground hip hop. “Daylight” is the follow-up to Aesop’s incredible “Labor Days” LP that undoubtedly one of 2001’s best releases. In fact, “Daylight” starts off with the title track that also appeared on “Labor Days,” truly a ridiculously dope song. The following track “Night Light” is a very clever flip on the previous track. Aesop essentially keeps the same verse structure but kicks the opposite rhymes. Example needed? From “Daylight,” “Life’s not a bitch/life is a beautiful women/you only call her a bitch because she won’t let you get that pussy/maybe she feels y’all don’t share no similar interests/or maybe you’re just an asshole who couldn’t sweet talk the princess.” From “Night Light,” “Life’s not a bitch/life is a BEYATCH/who keeps the villagers out circling the market place out searching for the G spot/maybe she didn’t feel y’all shared any similar interests/or maybe your such an asshole/maybe I’m just an asshole.“
Aesop then displays his brilliant cadence and voice over a classic booming El-P instrumental on “Nickel Plated Pockets,” and his unmatched sarcasm and bastard wit over an equally dope Blueprint banger on “Alchemy.” RJD2 lends a beautiful track to the album, not for Aes to bless though, pure instrumental on “Forest Crunk.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, RJD2 will be the breakout producer of 2002 (check out “Face On Your Kneecaps“). “Bracket Basher” is just a vintage Aesop track, from his lyrics to the beat and everything in between.
The albums shining moment comes after a 15 minute delay and is a bonus track called “1 Of 4.” It is Aes Rock’s most personal song to date (and that is saying something), he thanks the four people who recently saved his life when he was on the brink of insanity. They say the number one cause of insanity is thinking too much and I’m sure that was the case for Aesop. Virtually every line he delivers seems to be backed by hours of thought, which is probably why his rhymes are so complex and often obscure. The downside to the album? It is an EP and it left me salivating for more, which ultimately means that it served its purpose. EP’s are usually meant to tide over fans until the next LP and make them hungry for it, that would be an understatement. Don’t look past the future.