A wise man once said, “Have no expectations and you’ll never be let down.” Okay, maybe he wasn’t a wise man; he was probably just some dude who couldn’t get laid and listened to too much Morrissey. Another wise man once said, “Their earlier work is so much better than their later stuff.” And then his friends were all, “He’s so pretentious,” because he probably was. But its about to get real pretentious up in here.
After crushing my hopes and canceling his last Providence show, Aesop Rock finally redeemed himself (sort of) and paid Providence a visit last night. I’d like to first take this moment to differentiate between Aesop Rock, arguably the best MC creeping around the millennial underground scene back in ‘01, named for Greece’s famed fable-teller; and A$AP Rocky, who “loves bad bitches,” its his “f*ing problem.” But I digress. I left the Met last night with a bad taste in my mouth.
Artists change as they mature, its the nature of the job. Aesop came onto the scene over a decade ago busting out syncopated a capella rhymes like a spoken word artist who just blew his last line. Like every artist in history who’s had a lengthy career, his style is changed. No, he didn’t “get shitty,” but has traveled miles from his starting point. He’s not the man I fell in love with.
The crowd exploded the one time he broke into a vintage rhyme and begged for more once he stopped. Yes, he’s a fantastic performer, yes he still has a place in my heart as one of my favorite rappers, and yes, he probably feels like Lynrd Skynyrd does when has-been’s scream “Free Bird” at them, but Aesop,you gave me blue balls. And I won’t be calling you up for a second date.
I’ve seen all of the remaining members of Wu-Tang perform together, ODB’s son and all (if his name isn’t YDB, it should be). Opening act from LA, Busdriver, still takes the cake for best live hip hop show I’ve ever seen. His set was the kind of show where you look over to your friends to see if they’re as wide-eyed as you are as they simultaneously look over to check your reaction too. So good that when I went home to listen to his discography I was disappointed.
Of COURSE Sage hopped on stage to spit with opener, B.Dolan. He is the Where’s Waldo of RI hip hop in the best way possible