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Aesop Rock

None Shall Pass

September 3rd, 2007 · Written by · 1 Comment

None Shall Pass

Since 2001’s Labor Days, Long Island born and raised Ian Matthias Bavitz – under the AR moniker – exploded onto the underground hip-hop scene armed with razor-sharp, socially conscious prose. When you’re unofficially crowned the indie king of an entire genre, odds are you’re gonna be a giant blot on the radars of the scene police – so it’s no surprise that since his early success Aesop has received his fair share of criticism. In 2003 he released Bazooka Teeth and fell under heavy scrutiny for its abandoning his earlier abstract compositions. Recently, Aesop has taken heat for leaving the streets he cut his teeth on for the hills of San Francisco after marrying rocker Allyson Baker of Parchman Farm. Feverishly written and produced, Aesop’s latest offering, created over the course of the last two years, tackles issues of peer criticism and personal maturation. Co-produced by Blockhead, None Shall Pass features appearances from label mates El-P, Rob Sonic, and others. While this album is still a far cry from the socially focused work that put him on the map, None Shall Pass is a definitive response to those critical of his career of late. Settling squarely between the abstract compositions of the early albums and today’s traditional arrangements, None Shall Pass stands as an honest testament of one of the few true hip-hop pioneers of the early 21st century.

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