Aesop Rock

November 6, 2011

IAmA Aesop Rock AMA

Hello and thanks very much for the interest. You guys are awesome. I will do my best. Some things I won't answer.

FINAL EDIT - 3:08 AM - Pacific Standard Time - I thought i was gonna get another couple hours tonight to get to some more of these questions, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. I can't thank you all enough for participating. Have a good one!

I'll be lurking...

Best A.R.


How do you feel about being the world's greatest male model?

Also, you rock, Mr. Rock!

it feels fucking awesome.

I saw you and Kimya this year, and thought the combo was brilliant. How did you get together for the album?

I had emailed with Kimya years ago to say I liked her songs and to keep on truckin'. Then when me and some friends of mine started the 900bats website, I was curious as to whether or not she would be interested in contributing. Turns out she was, AND that she was working on her new album (Thunder Thighs). She asked me to do a beat for a rap song she wrote. We became friends and I ended up working on about 6 songs on that record. We have since been recording a group record together, and have done a bunch of touring this year.

The show at the Triple Rock in MPLS was wonderful. Thank you for a brilliant show.

thank YOU

First and foremost, I have to thank you for being one of the first artists to really get me to dive into the world of rap.

Secondly, how did the collaboration with you and John Darnielle come about? On paper it just sounds so bizarre, but with the song it comes out quite perfectly.

My brother introduced me to the Mountain Goats in about 1994 and I was hooked. John has always been a humongous inspiration to me. In '03 John put my Bazooka Tooth record on some year-end top 10 list that he wrote and I was floored. Flat out could not believe it. At his next NYC show I introduced myself and we nerded out.

What's your favorite Mountain Goats song?

Faithless Bacchant Song

What tends to be your inspiration in the albums you write? What kind of major experiences in your life pushed you about them in songs/albums?

I think inspiration is not really something you can pinpoint. Your life is gonna wind around enough by itself to be interesting. I take a ton of notes - like if i hear something interesting, a word, a phrase, whatever. My songs end up being patchworks of a lot of these smaller ideas inspired over weeks or months.

What is your favorite non hip hop song?

Yo Aesop, love your work.

What was it like working with Murs and Slug on the last Felt album? They as cool as they seem?

They are both old pals. Both great people and very fun to be around, smart, funny. It was fun to have a block of time to just hang and do music, as we are all usually involved in our own projects. I was just sending beats to them as fast as I could, and at one point they met up in MN to have a large writing session. Once the initial writing was done they came out to SF (where I live these days) and we recorded here.

A lot of people will ask you questions about your rapping but i would love to hear about your production on Felt 3. What inspires your beats?

i just listen to old music til i hear a sound i like - then i steal it. rinse, repeat.

Wikipedia defines your music as new ground/alternative hip-hop. If you were going to classify your own music under a heading, where would you put yours?

I rap. I make rap.

What's generally your writing process like? Think of a topic and go? Start with some cool lines in the middle and build it from there?

Anyways, big fan, love your voice over blockhead tunes.

Thanks very much.

I have a pool of notes in my phone, shit i wanna say at some point, basically. Once I have a beat I want to write a song to, I will pull from the notes and do some new writing on the spot to help link the ideas. I also always have a lot of songs being worked on at once. I will sometimes do bit on one, then work on another, etc. I'm not very good at just sitting down and writing a song.

I remember reading a book that featured the protagonist talking about your music. I don't even remember the name of the book, but your music has stuck with me since.

So, what are your influences? What albums do you consider your favorite? What contemporary artists are you a fan of? Just tell me about your musical tastes.

Hm. I don't know that I have a favorite album of any genre. I always was always exposed to a mix of hip-hop and punk/skate type shit growing up. My iTunes "Recently played" is 70% stuff i'm working on. Aside from that there is... some Danny Brown, the new Tom Waits record, Hanni El Khatib, Pusha T mixtape, Shabazz Palaces, Jeff Lewis.

What process do you go through in writing? Does it all just come to you in an epiphany of inspiration, or do you pound away for hours to get it perfect, or what?

It takes me forever to write solo songs, but when i do collaborative work, like the album i just did with Rob Sonic, or the stuff I'm doing with Kimya, I am able to write quicker for some reason - and I dont think It's necessarily a lower caliber of writing. I think i put a lot a pressure on myself when i do official 'solo' material, which sometimes makes me nitpick more than I should.

What is the longest you have ever spent writing a song?


In your song "Pigs", you say "If Noah had the benefit of hindsight on his ship, he could've snatched two unicorns and left behind the motherfucking pigs." But if there were no pigs, there would be no bacon. And that would be awful. Explain yourself.

unicorn bacon

Are you an atheist? Or better yet whats your thoughts on life? What do you think happens when you die? I see a lot of things pertaining to that subject in your music.

God shmod.

what is your process? (drums, then synths etc? or vice versa) what equipment do you use? (logic? pro tools? nexus stuff?) how do you write? (freestyle? with internal rhymes in mind?)

i saw you in some documentary and you talked about how you turn off your phone and just make songs and it was dope man

I can play a few intruments pretty badly, and have some synths and guitars and basses and such collected from over the years - but i would say i still do half of the work on the ASR-10. I always start with it. Even if i'm not looping long passages, i just like how samples sound, mixing sound from different sources, etc. I then layer in other things, some live stuff, beef up a bassline, whatever. I do a ton of the finer editing on Pro Tools, and treat that almost like a sequencer. Even the stuff that gets played live is usually chopped or moved or something at some point.

Oh and to answer your question, I guess drums is always a nice place to start. But not always.

As for writing I usually will start once i have a basic shell for a beat. maybe just a loop or something simple that gets the vibe across. I will often record to just that frame, then build the music up around it, then re-do the lyrics at the end (to match the song's builds, and because i usually will have read it off paper the first time).

Couple questions;

Any chance on seeing a new solo album?

Also, what ever happened to "Two of Every Animal?" I was really looking forward to that.

I met you in Pittsburgh, it was a great show

I have a great majority of my next solo record done. I'd like to write one more really solid song for it. With that and the Kimya record in the works, I have not had much time to work on the Two of Every Animal project, but it is definitely something I would like to see happen.

Thanks for coming out to the show!

Hey AR,

First and foremost I'd like to say that you were the reason I got into underground hip-hop in 2004. I somehow came across 9-5ers Anthem, and then Daylight shortly thereafter when I was in 8th grade and I haven't looked back. Although I've expanded my tastes to other genres underground hip-hop is where my true love is and I sincerely thank you for that.

On to my question: Did you have your parents full support when you told them you wanted to be a rapper? As an aspiring musician myself, sometimes I find it hard to break away from the traditional life path that I think my parents expect me to follow. Did you ever have any struggles with following your dream in terms of what family or anyone else thought?

Definitely. I had a pretty strict upbringing and even though by the time I chose to quit working and attempt music full-time I was well into living on my own, I still had a really tough time making the call home. In hindsight, it's pretty nuts that as an adult i was so nervous to make that call, but such was my situation. I think they supported me in the same manner any parent would support a martian baby - cautiously.

Holy shit my favorite artist on reddit doing an AMA! HUGE HUGE HUGE fan here, I've got a bunch of questions for you.

I was in San Francisco last summer and I didn't see you, it was around the time you did your free show at one of the local parks. I was sorta bummed. I know it's foolish of me to think that I'd see you kickin' it just eating burrito somewhere, but I can still dream right?

EDIT: Do you think you could ask some of your friends (Kimya, Slug, Murs, etc) to do AMA's as well? I'd love the opportunity to ask them questions as well.

Thanks so much. really.

Ace, you're awesome. Thanks for doing the AMA

You used to live in New York, I used to see you all the time when you played live shows. Needless to say, live Hip-Hop in the city used to be a one of a kind thing. That being said:

  1. Do you feel moving to California has impacted your music the same way New York City did?

  2. How does Bay Area Hip-Hop compare to New York City's style?

3. What underground talent are you most excited to see release material, and could you suggest we check out any unsigned or new artists?

Thanks again!

    • I think moving anywhere and changing up your environment is a healthy thing for anyone. I think people usually assume when you move, it's the regional "sound" that will affect you most, but for me it doesnt really happen like that. I am more just affected by the basic change in environment, going somewhere i dont know, meeting people, not meeting people, getting lost, getting found, all that stuff that comes with uprooting.
    • both ny and the bay have consistently produced amazing talent. different styles is the spice of life. seeing people do what you do in their own way is thrilling to me.
    • If we're talking rap - Rob Sonic, Danny Brown, Despot, Hm i gotta think about this...

Wow, this is crazy. Seriously one of my favorite artists... Have a million questions but no point in being a hog...

Who has been your favorite person to work with?

If you had one point of general advice to give to the world what would it be?

What is the song you are most proud of?

Whats your top played itunes tracks?


Aesop Rock you method of rap is so unique, and your voice flows well with your beats. Ever think of doing a song with a member of the Wu Tang Clan? Assuming you haven't

Yeah i was on the "wu-tang meets the indie culture" disc, as the poster below me linked, but I mean... Wu Tang are like heroes to me. When it comes to this collaborating stuff, I'd often rather not go there even if I somehow magically got the opportunity. I like to make music with friends. I have made exceptions, but i think less and less as I get older.


I don't want to talk about my peg leg

What musicians are your biggest inspirations? That being asked, I love you man - keep up the great work

Edit- I also wanted to add that I'd take a bullet for you even if the only thing you ever did was write the song Daylight.

probably if i had to boil it all down it would be EPMD and the Mountain Goats.

Oh man this is awesome, I'm glad you decided to do an AMA.

I don't personally have any questions right now, but I just want to say that your style has really grown on me over time. I first listened to None Shall Pass a year or two ago and I just couldn't get my head around it. Needless to say after a few good listens it just one day clicked, and blew my mind.

So yeah, just some thanks and support from a fan down in Australia!

thanks! just had a blast in Australia a couple weeks ago.

How long have you been writing? Is No Regrets about someone you know or is it a metaphor?

i guess writing rap lyrics since about junior high sometime. i never really wrote much else. No Regrets is a made up story.

What was it like working with Blockhead?

Blockhead is probably my oldest and best friend. Well maybe Ben is, sorry ben. But i've known Blockhead for a really long time and we kinda both came into music together. He's a hoot.

The way you flow is so bizarre. It's almost slurred and yet so concise. Is that actually how you've always rapped?

no i used to rap terribly. I think over time one learns how their individual voice works best, and what it's capable of. Then you apply that to the vibe of the piece youre writing and you hope something happens.

On your forearms you have your lyrics "must not sleep..must warn others" what is the significance behind the lyrics? Also, what other tattoos do you have? Your music has made a huge impact on my life. So much appreciation for doing your thing, man

The arms seemed like a good mission statement.

I have a king of hearts playing card on my left arm with my friend Camu's birth and death dates. He was writing a record called "King of Hearts" when he passed. I have a bunch of bats on my right arm as they kinda started popping up in a bunch of areas of my life (900bats site, wrote new song called 'bats', etc..) I have a skull with wings on my chest and stomach for general badassery. Adam Duritz portrait on my back because fuck you.

What is your favourite book?

what the fuck is a "book"?

What are you working on right now?? Who have you been chilling with in real life? Much love

priorites are the solo album and the collab album with kimya. also just did a song with Busdriver last week for his new record. Today i sequenced a song im producing for Blueprint. Gave some beats to the new Grayskul album. Beats on the Rob Sonic album.

in real life i am chilling with a jimmy dean breakfast bowl

Not really a question, but I was too broke to buy tickets to a show you played in Orlando with B.M.S.R. a few years back. It was outdoors though, so my friends and I were able to sit on this connecting building walkway that was over the stage. We yelled down and said hey to the B.M.S.R. guys and they snubbed us big time, but when we yelled down to you, you were super friendly and shouted back and forth to us for a little while. Thanks for not snubbing your fans. I'm not a broke teen anymore, so I will definitely be a paying in support next time you come around.

thanks very much. BMSR are great people, do not judge them on a long distance walkway snubbing.

I once read an interview where you claimed that you didn't read & most of your lyrics came from watching tv. Is that true? It's always kinda baffled me because your vocabulary is so deep.

ha. i don't really read novels. the only thing i really read is science magazines. i do like movies a lot. like almost any movie, doesnt matter.

edit - i do like shows like deadwood (sniff) or anything where the dialog is just insane and fun to listen to. I also mostly enjoy watching things that take place in other time periods. i also like most movies with dragons.

Your production abilities have gotten ridiculously good and your recordings always sound great. Can you tell us a little bit about your home studio?

thanks so much. i spoke about some gear elsewhere.

Hey, I know you already have almost 100 comments to answer, but mine really doesn't require one anyway.

I was at the Michael Larson Memorial last year and seeing you and Kimya up there made a huge impact on the entire atmosphere. You really brought the crowd together and by the end of the show, I was moved to tears.

Thank you so much, you meant so much to a lot of people that night.

Keep it real.

i really appreciate that. that was the first time me and kimya had performed the song "walk like thunder" which is in on her new record. Super nervous that night, but the whole thing ended up being really nice.

What do you think about mainstream rap? Do you like any particular popular rapper? Personally, I think they all pale in comparison to your music.

sometimes i do. nobody in particular this minute. the subject matter in popular music is usually a bit repetitive for me, but sometimes youll get someone who can just rap really well regardless of the subject and it sounds nice.

Have you heard your Ocarina of Time remix done by Team Teamwork?

If no: here ya go:

What do you think?

i have. i love it.

Wow...I was listening to 'All Day' in the gym today. Great timing.

Anyway, you gonna do anything else with Jeremy Fish?

i just did dinner with him. we will inevitably do more artsy crap together too.

Please tell me working with Murs and Slug (edit: on Felt III) was as magical as I imagine it!

like a pegasus in a cauldron

Can you talk a little bit about writing Daylight/Nightlight? There are lines in BOTH songs that are on the top my list in terms of lyrical ingenuity. And the continuity/discontinuity between the two makes them hit all the harder.

Also, I've seen you a few times in person, and you always seem to be a real awesome guy. Good looking out, and thanks for that.

thanks very much!

when me and blockhead made daylight we kinda thought it was cheesy and it got a lot of laughs from us. people seemed to like it. Once the original lyrcs were written, it wasnt too difficult to make the nightlight flip. the lyrics were essentially 60% done already.

I always remember loving the Casual remix of Del's "wrong place"

because instead of just swapping out the beat, Del redoes the verse in a totally different way than the original. While i changed some of the lines in night light, i think the idea was similar - to make a new version of the song instead of a textbook remix.


i feel this is accurate and i support you 100%

AAESOP!!! Long time fan, dude. So glad you're taking the time to do this. Seriously.

My questions ...

What would you be doing if you weren't a musician?

What's your best pickup line?

And waffles or pancakes?

Well we can put this one to rest now.


I don't know who you are, so, I shall ask:

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

chocolate peanut butter. the o.g. is baskin robbins but haagen daaz makes a nice one now. i also like ben and jerry's new Clusterfluff.

How did you survive the wooly mammoth population bottleneck effect?

i hid in a laundry truck

Are you an alien or some shit?.. I've never heard anyone rap like that.. Come do a show in charlottesville virginia!!

i am some shit

Do you strongly believe that Pluto should be re-instated as a planet, or was it just a good sample?

it was just a toast to the underdog. the sample is me anyway.

WHAT is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

I can't thank you enough for the music you make. This question may sound strange but do you ever write lyrics down and are completely ashamed of how they sound initially or do you just pump out awesome all the time?

i just re-edit them over and over until they are where I want them.

Just wanted to say I was fan back in the Music for Earthworms days... I still am, but I was then too. If I gotta ask something... Have you ever thought of tackling other musical genres, like rock country or Tuvan throat singing?

thanks so much.

hm, not so much. Im down to experiment, but i also feel like i know when to stay in my lane. i guess if i felt i could make an honest and interesting contribution to the genre, but i dunno that i feel that way bout anything but rap.

What doth life?


"Are You Gonna Eat That?" is BY FAR the record of the year. Any plans for another Hail Mary Mallon record?

yep, we've already started.


How did the Bazooka Tooth alias originate?

I just wanted a new character to throw a fit with. I dont even rememeber where it came from.

Hey man, damn, I don't really know what to say for things like this. But your music is pretty on key dude keep it up.

1.Who would you like to work with? 2.Any dead musician you would have loved to work with? 3.Favorite cereal? 4.When we getting pizza?

1. 2. 3. honey bunches of oats 4.

yo i missed your concert in Boulder cause i live 3 hours away and i really wanted to go. i told a friend thats going to CU to go and he is now a fan of yours. just showing some love to you man and hopefully one day ill get to meet you.


What did you start doing first, freestyling or writing? What was it like recording with Del?

i recorded some little verses before ever trying to freestyle. The only song me and Del are on together, we were not together for the recording of. However i have gotten to meet him on occasion and he's as cool and bugged out as you would hope. seems like a great dude.

Just wanted to say you are awesome. In all seriousness you are one of my favorite musicians. I look forward to hearing some new stuff. Keep up the good work!

thanks you!

What's John Darnelle like? And how did that collaboration come about?

He is a trembling ball of information ready to explode at all times. Very nice. Very smart. I spoke of the collab elsewhere.

I am so excited right now. Uhmm, how do you respond to criticism that your lyrics don't make sense? I wouldn't say that, but it seems to be a popular opinion. On that note, would you consider writing a book of poetry or something like that?

I respond to like that this - bah! nah i mean i been getting that kinda stuff forever. Some get what i do, some dont. some do and dont know why. some dont and do know why. People seem to totally hate it or totally love it. I dont have that many casual listeners.

I put out the lyrics to my first 5 or 6 records in book called "the living human curiousity sideshow"

What's your favorite taqueria in SF?

Cancun or El Metate. And i know Cancun is an obvious choice but i dont give a fuck that shit is awesome.

Ace just wanted to say its really awesome you're doin this and ive been a huge fan since Float. Keep rockin man!

thank you!

Your stuff got me into hip hop. Thank you man.

Also, I'm kind of surprised you've never done any work with Busdriver (that I've heard of), any future plans for anything like that? Or Despot? I would love to hear you guys on the same track.

just record with Bus last week. Me and Despot will definitely work together. Just saw him yesterday, as the tour he is on stopped in SF.

How much direction did you give John Darnielle for his spot on Coffee? Was it like, hey, I did this track, toss something on the end? Record something at random and I'll fit it in? Did you straight write the lyrics (doubtful, as his skill as a lyricist is a good portion of why he is amazing)?

Thanks much for doing this. Come back to Chicago soon, yeah?

And speaking of Chicago, how about you give Thigahmahjigggee AKA Sharkula a guest spot? It just might be amazing.

i think i just wrote my part and probably sent him the song and lyrics and said do wahtever you want and we'll arrange it later. what he sang kinda just worked perfectly as this strange outro/verse. I was psyched when he sent it back.

Dude, thanks so much for doing this. Just wanted to say thanks and I can't wwait for a new record! Also, Hail Mary Mallon album was so sick! Keep up the free hooks! Awesome way to keep in contact with your fans.

thank you!

I think you're awesome, just saying. I have labor days in my deck now. Don't be afraid to hit the wescott theater at Syracuse University!

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.


First thanks from the bottom of my heart for "Are You Gonna Eat That?" You and Rob and Wiz have chemistry like you read about. And thanks for the show at Great American Music Hall. Shit was 'nanners.

1) Is the next HMM record a going concern? 2) Is Rhymesayers definitely your (HMM and your own dang self) label moving forward? 3) Have you any idea how hot is the fire that is "Church Pants" and "Knievel?" 4) Will we see a Dirty Ghosts full length or east coast show in the near future?

new hmm is started. RSE is currently hmm's label. i dont have a label for my solo material at this time, but have been speaking with some people. Dirty Ghosts full length is done and signed, but I'll let them announce it as they see fit. thanks!

At what point did you know that you wanted to do this for the rest of your life?

i have never known that. i'm just trying to make it all work one day at a time.

Judging by the depth of your songs, and the fact that i have to do research to understand half of the references you make, I'd guess you're probably a well read guy. What are some of the books/films that have had the most influence on your work?

i'm really not well read at all. i just always looked up words that i didnt know when people said them, esecially if they were fun to say or hear. I still do. I just react more to the sound of them than the sight. I would remember something you say to me before i would remember it if you wrote it on paper and had me read it.

Dear A.R, firstly I want to say a big thank you for all your years of great music, you managed to get this hard rocking metal girl to broaden her horizons and discover many other musical artists as talented as yourself to obsess over.

I just saw you in Melbourne, Australia with Kimya Dawson and I was amazed at the chemistry you two seemed to have.

So, my question is this, what are the best/worst aspects of working with another artist? How do you find having to give and take creatively? And lastly, what was your favorite collaboration?

while i do like making one-off collaborative songs with friends, something like the Kimya situation, or me and Rob doing a whole album together - i mean - they are both really close friends outside of music too. so while occasionally peoples ideas get vetoed, it never feels like your compromising your creativity at all. it's literally one person inspiring the other back and forth for a whole album. i get psyched to hear what they wrote, and to figure out how to add my part and vice versa (hopefully).

I dunno that i have a favorite. Collaboration has taken on a new meaning since i started doing entire albums with people instead of just songs. There's always something to learn.

Thanks so much for agreeing to do this. I saw you live in Chicago in June and the atmosphere was incredible.

What made you decide to put One of Four as a hidden song?

i dont really know. i've done the "hidden song" thing a couple of times. i dont even know why i do it, i'm sure it's annoying as hell. one of four specifically i guess at the time it felt like the right thing to do. it's difficult to remember my exact thought process on something like that.

What are your hobbies besides rapping?

i like making weird little videos and putting music to them, i like catching frogs when i have an opportunity to do so, I like drawing in a sketchbook, I still try to do a kickflip once a year, i enjoy the occasional video gaming experience, i am a simple man.

Hey Aesop, it is an honor having you here to do an AMA and knowing a lot of people (including myself) that are really into your music, many people will appreciate this.

Had you ever considered rapping while you were in high school? What made you decide to share your ideas in this way (rapping)? Also, what is one of the most significant moments in your life?

yeah i would write raps in high school and kick them to my friends, and we would occasionally try to freestyle. My older brother had a 4 track and a little drum machine, small keyboard thing, made a couple little jammers. i just enjoy rapping, im not sure why, but it seemed like the most real way for me to express my thoughts in music.

Significant moments hmmm. Had a friend in high school who killed himself by jumping off the empire state building. Learned a lot about... things.

How and when did you happen to meet Jeremy Fish? Are there any other visual artists that you go to for inspiration?

Jeremy was the first person i met when i moved to san francisco in 2005. we were fans of each other but didnt know it. we had a mutual friend who put us in touch because jeremy was asked to pitch a cartoon to the disney channel and wanted to see if i would be on board to do music should it ever go anywhere. it didnt, but we became pals.

I am close friends with Alex Pardee find him and his work inspiring.

I just lined up somebody really special to do the art for my next record which i am super excited about.

Woa Ive have your song Daylight on my iPod for a couple months and I didn't kno who you were until like five minutes ago. anyways, love that song, thnx for reading this


Aesop, Bazooka Tooth helped get me through senior year of college. Your somewhat bizarre lyrical style was something so different and artistic, I was utterly fascinated with it. And yet when I've seen you live, it was... like a normal hip hop show. It was still a lot of fun, but I gotta say it was sortof disappointing that you didn't apply that same artistic style and feeling to your live show. Did you consider it? Is it just impractical to satisfy a thousand people with unusual stuff? The clearest example, I think, the song 11:35. My favorite part was the slow part at the end. So much feeling to it. Why did you cut it off?


i'm sorry

Hey AR!

I want to say thanks for your music. Your shit really brought me back to hip hop some time ago.

Anywho - who does your videos? Really creative stuff.

for the last few years my videos have been done primarily by Alex Tarrant and Justin Metros. They are also the two fine fellows that helped start the 900bats website with me. thanks!

Love your music. Any tours scheduled for the near future?

for the first time in a while, as of 2 days ago, i have no shows scheduled. really gotta get this album done. i'm gonna try to go big on touring next year, as i'll have several project out.

Mr. Aesop, do you use a thesaurus when you rhyme or is your vocabulary just that good?

i have used all sorts of writing tools, but honestly when a major factor of what youre doing relies on the words sounding good next to each other, it's usually best to just kinda speak it out. it gets hard to just say "i need a synonym for 'savage'" because it's gotta be a certain amount of syllables and possibly rhyme with something.

Hey Aes,

A lot of people mainly care about the lyrical content of your songs, I won't lie you're legit as hell, but I have always wondered what is the the intro to the song water off Euphony. TY for doing the AMA!

i'm not sure what youre asking.

What is your favorite venue to play at?

hard to say. we've had great shows in shitholes and in amazing clubs. the 9:30 club in d.c. as far as venues go is super nice, great staff, very clean, sounds great, awesome backstage. But i've had just as much fun at a good in-store if everything falls into place.



Mr. Aesop Rock I am a huge fan, and I love the songs on Float, but the production and mastering on the album is inconsistent, making it difficult to get through in one piece. Is there any chance it will ever be remastered?

probably not. who know though. maybe? i dont know.

When in your career were you most flattered by someone/something?

RIGHT NOW. Maybe meeting Chuck D. and having him know specifics about me and my songs in the conversation. It just bowled me over and was one of those ok-i-can-retire-now moments. He has always been really nice to me. Super flattered.

I hope you answer this. When you are writing lyrics, do you write them down with a rap in mind? Like a certain flow, or do you choose your beats first? Or do you write them like a story or something, then choose the beat afterward?

kinda both. i write thoughts and bars here and there with no beat. once i choose i beat i re-fromat my thoughts/notes and add new stuff to help it make sense.

I saw you in Providence a few years back, and before you performed "Daylight" you and Rob Sonic did a little back and forth about how much you hated the song. Why do you say you hate it?

ha weird. i dont know. i may be a little sick of it cuz i've performed it at almost every show for a decade. i dont hate it, i just have a different relationship with that song than anyone else.

Hey Ace, thanks for being so awesome. What's your favorite music genre?

crime jazz

Would you rather have a fish head or a fishtail body?


How/to whom do you outsource your album artwork?

different people each album. i've done a lot of work with Jeremy Fish in the last few years. I usually just look to whoever is inspiring me as of late, then i beg/bribe them. sometimes tactics like "guilt" and "blackmail" are employed.

Is it too late for me to get into music? Growing up in highschool it was always my passion... but then I caught up in working, and my education.. I've always loved music, and I want to make it, but is it something you have to be able to commit yourself to full time? How and when did you get into music?

i say do whatever you're into. i always did music from a young age, but never planned on making it a full time thing. It just so happen to get there for me.


cash and random

Seriously, how many of your lyrics make no sense at all and have no meaning?


my big question,

when will you return to the bay area? i've seriously wanted to see you for years and missed you with atmosphere in berkeley :(


does performing provide enough for you to survive? if so, what are the main sources of income? if not, how do you make it?

finally, thank you for "one of four" it is probably one of the most real, heartfelt things ive heard

i live in san francisco and play here often. yes i live off the rappering.

Compared to before your success, how often do you get together and just kick a cypher with friends?

in a serious manner, never. on tour constantly, usually in a humorous fashion.

Don't You Love The Tony Hawks Games! :D

i loved the THPS games until the last one. Plus the Skate games kinda kick ass.

No question, just wanted to say that you are easily one of the top five lyricists in history, and thank you for doing your part to keep hip hop alive.

thanks so much!

Are you a redditor normally or just here for this AMA?

always read, never contribute.

I honestly can't believe that you're doing an AMA... I seriously listen to Daylight on a regular basis to get motivated to do shit. You're awesome. I have two questions:

1) Was there a bottom-line social/political message in None Shall Pass (the full album)?

2) Have you gotten life's pussy?

1 - to me, the main idea of that record had to do with judging others, and being judged by others, and judge whopner.

2 - not enough

Hey Aesop

You have a really distinctive, abstract and at time obtuse style. I often interpret your songs in a way that other people don't. Is such variance in interpretations something you try to foster? At times I can't help but feel you want the listeners to be confused at times!

Love your stuff, keep going!

thanks so much. these songs all have a specific meaning to me but i of course realize with the level of crypticness and metaphor and analogy and stuff, people will make them fit into their individual scenario. i wouldnt say it's something i try to foster, but its just something that happens no matter what, and i'm definitely into it. anytime anyone connects with this stuff in any way at all it is an awesome feeling.

This AMA just made me so glad that I became a redditor.

No questions, just wanted to say how awesome this is. Love your music man keep it up!

thank you very much!

Not a question. You have a wonderful beard.


You sound like Gandalf!

winner winner chicken dinner

I met you 2007 in Seattle in a thrift store. You made my put on these stupid blue glasses so I could take my picture with you. No question, but you are awesome.

ha. that sounds fun. i love blue AND glasses.

What, if any, impact has your Catholic upbringing had on your artistic endeavors?

It made me an insane man, and insane people make for better artists.

Well Idk if your going to answer this but first, Your music has helped me get through ALOT of shit (especially one of four) and I wanted to say thank you.

What inspired you for the vibe and lyricism for None Shall Pass? Did you ever doubt yourself when you first started dropping material? Would you tell me what you think of my song?

NSP just seemed like a continuation of where i was going. i remember being totally sick of talking about myself at that point, so for most of the album i wanted to write stories about other people, or refer to myself as "he" instead of "i" more. even the auto-biographicl material i wanted portrayed as other people.

i doubt myself every second of every day.

Two-part question:

If I took a fetus from medieval times (the era, not the restaurant), and I brought it to modern times, would it be able to assimilate into society?

If you could eat one person, alive or dead, who would it be, and why?

I am that fetus.

I would eat all my neighbors.

nothing to ask, just stopping by to say how much i appreciate your music

thank you so much.

Icarus. I am extremely interested in your interest in Icarus. The myth, or just the imagery--what's the story there? Your lyrics in "Daylight" reference him, and it seems like there's a lot of flying/failure to fly/icarus-inflected imagery in your work during that period, on Float and Labor Days.

For what it's worth, you are, in my opinion, the greatest living hip-hop lyricist, and I (who have published one lonely little book of poetry) am deeply envious of your brain.

thanks so much. Icarus is a good story, no?

What was the inspiration for Dark Heart News?

We wanted to make a newspaper for our fellow scumbags - the dark heart news.

Do you have a favorite verse of your own? I remember Blockhead saying Battery was one of his favorites, personally I love the second one on Greatest Pacman Victory in History hahaha

if i did it would by default be on one of my not-yet-released songs. thats just how it is. I did a really long verse on a song called TV on 10, which will be on the me and kimya group album, about this time when my friends and I saw news of a plane crash on tv, and it turned out to be a plane my friend's mother was on. (he was with us). I like how the rhyme turned out.

Do you still write graffiti? Favorite writer?

No. i fuck around in books and shit but i cant be getting arrested for that shit. i'm old as fucking time.

"lifes not a bitch, life is a beautiful woman"

hit me hard and hit me early on. just wanted to say thanks.

as for the question: how might it feel to impact people with your words on such a grand scale? theres a lot of us writing out there, but you get the audience. does it change your approach at all?

it's hard to say what scale i am on. i have always been on the "underground" side of things so to speak, and beyond that any kind of 'fame' even on a small scale is a strange thing for me to accept. i guess i really try not to think about it. i get the most honest product just staying in my little world doing my thing. that's what's worked for me thus far.


What is your view on music piracy (torrent, filesharing, etc)?

It's hard to have an opinion on this from where i stand. i dont mind the idea of people sharing music. I also wish the industry i made a living in didn't die. such is life.

How was the process like working with Tobacco on the track "Dirt", considering he was pretty secretive back in the Fucked Up Friends days. Also, that song is probably one of my favorites. You really make every bit of it. And, Honey Bunches of Oats is the greatest cereal ever created by man.

Tobacco is one of my favorite people i have met through music. I didn't know him at all when i asked his group, Black Moth Super Rainbow to tour with us one year. up until then i had always toured with my usual pack of rap friends. I liked their record and they were gracious enough to come out with us when i asked. We all became pretty close over the course of the tour, i really cant say enough good things about him. I recorded "Dirt" a little while after that tour. We've spoke about doing more together, and I hope it happens.

Do you like pirates?

theyre ok.

To begin, I have enjoyed your art for several years, and I am always able to discover something new within after each listen. For this I thank you.

Secondly, how would you describe your artistic relationship with Blockhead?

i dont even think of him like that. he's just my goofy friend. we go back a long time. He's like the cheese to my bread.

Never heard of you before this, and now I'm in love. Amazing music. No questions, just keep doin' what you're doin'

thanks so much.

From what I've heard it goes right as the internet was being used more to spread about content, you had been been mixed into tapes or files that were sided with Eminem songs and that's how some of your fans originally found you. Were you behind that forefront of putting out music in that way or was this from dedicated folks wanting your skills heard?

haha. wow. Blockhead used to trade cassettes with kids all over the country pre-file sharing. they would list underground rarities they had and swap tapes. like cali kids were more exposed to project blowed related rappers, living legends, etc sharing with ny kids who had jugganots radio spots, sigh and yeshua, bobbito shows, etc. all this regional underground material. anyway.... I guess at some point, one of the tapes was some eminem shit on one side, and some of me on the other. I only know this because I know of a few people over the years who tell me that they "used to have this tape with eminem on one side and me on the other", and Block says he definitely made it. It wasnt a strategic decision, just some songs on a tape, and one guy turned out to be eminem.

What single line, or stanza, or verse are you most proud of??

of things that are released, maybe Pigs.

What is your favorite album that you have made?

this will always be the most recent.

What was your biggest influence that helped you conceptualize and improve your writing the most?

Great shit, man. Keep it up.

i tried to befriend rapper's who i thought were really doing it at a high caliber. i wanted to rap really good. i also allowed myself to be influenced by lyricists outside of rap that i thought really brought something amazing to music. early on this was people like Blake Shwarzenbach (Jawbreaker), John Darnielle has been mentioned, Kimya etc. I think rappers have a tendency to get stuck in a small pool of subject matter. I enjoyed seeing how lyricists from other genres got their thoughts across, and trying to apply some of that to rhyming.

i think? i dunno im making this up now, just trying to really think about it.

We've played a few of your songs on our radio show, big fans. Keep doing the same stuff man.

(Shameless plug, check us out on Saturday night at 8pm GMT.)


Hey Aesop,

I'm a huge fan, I did a tattoo of you a long time ago and sent it to you on Facebook but you never replied. So here it is. Also If you are ever in southern California and would like to get tattooed I would gladly tattoo you for free.

holy crap! i totally have that in a folder on my computer. i am not on facebook, it is a fake me. thank you or your kind offer!

You are the only reason I did not/do not dismiss hiphop entirely as a genre. Thank you.

well thanks but that's kind of a shame.

I know you have a million questions to answer so I will make mine a statement just hoping that you might read it...

I am a 5th grade teacher, I saw you and Kimya earlier this year and it inspired me to do something I have alway thought about doing; Using your music in the classroom. I showed my students 'No Regrets' and used it to start a unit on music as storytelling and it was a huge hit! So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for doing what you do and I hope that you can tell from the responses here just how influential you have been to so many people. Knock em out the box Ace!

thanks so much. that means a lot.

I just discovered you music not too long ago and someone posted a link to No Regrets today in r/music. First time I'd ever heard it. Really made my day - thank you.



absolutely. DOOM is without a doubt one of the best to ever do it. super fan.

AESOP!!! No question because the one I wanted to post has already been asked (views on mainstream hip hop?) Regardless, you are the man and I want to thank you for keeping my faith in hip hop alive. Peace!

thanks you

who is one hip hop artist that has had the biggest influence on your career? Favorite rap album of all time?

it's really hard to narrow it down to one. i was really lucky to be in a region where the medium was thriving and a ton of dope shit was coming out during my high school years 90-94. a little after that some of the NY indie scene popped off and a lot of that helped steer me too. Rap was healthier.

How did you get into producing/any tips for someone looking to start?

Also, thank you. Labor Days got me through some strange times.

it depends on what youre looking to do. if you wanna chop samples, or if you wanna so more synth work or whatever. i guess these days you can pretty much have a billion sounds combined with the ability to sample on any of those workstation-type keyboards. roland fantom or otherwise. at the end of the day you probably need way less gear than you think to make something cool.

Something about the way you jump in on the Evidence - Late for the Sky just flips my lid every time. Perfect beat, perfect voice, perfectly wtf lyrics.

thanks very much. that beat was fun. sid roams kill.

Which songs do you look back on and think "LOL what a silly, stupid song I wrote" (if there are any) ?

all of them

Hey man, big fan (I can rhyme too), I really enjoyed seeing you at the Greek Theater back on the Family Values Tour. I really like your production, and I was wondering if you could talk a little about your production process. For example, do you sample (damn, I should be a rapper)? About how long does it take you to make a beat? What is your favorite beat you've done? And unrelated, are you a dog person or cat person? Thanks again for doing the AMA.

spoke about some of the production-y things already. i think my next record really has some of my best work. i wish it had a name because this would be a nice time to plug it, but alas it does not. i was happy with my contributions to the Hail Mary Mallon record too. The beats grow over time. sometimes the last little piece doesnt get added til a year or two after the original little scrap loop has been sitting on your hard drive. i like dogs and cats and most animals.

What do you look forward to the most over the next 25 years? Also, what is your favorite cartoon character?

that first one is a doozy - in relation to me or in relation to like... da whole wurld?

i enjoy the work of the roadrunner.

In relation to you and the goals you wish to accomplish by 2036, whether big or small.

Hell yeah! meepmeep!

if i can keep this up i will do it for as long as i can.

This feels like a self indulgence, being from Minneapolis and appreciative of the art and music scene here, but here's a question:

How do you perceive place (or the sense of place) to play into not only the subject matter of your and other artists' writing, but also any innate propulsion pushing you into creation?

i dont understand this question.

I don't always find IAmA celebrity posts interesting

but when I do, I post and make it known while I sit hitting F5 with a stupid smile on my face.

eek celebrity

"All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day and put the pieces back together my way".

This always makes me feel better when I'm feeling down. Thank you.

thank you back

Do you have any collaborations in the works that you've been looking forward to?

mostly has been mentioned

What's the worst job you've had?

for me maybe being a cashier at a grocery store, which i did in high school. i really hate having to interact with that many people throughout the day. it's one of those places where people let their ugly side show, they arent afraid to treat you like shit. i always preferred manual labor with headphones kinda jobs.

You performed a show here in Anchorage earlier this year. How did you like Alaska?

we shot a video yesterday in which i wore my nanooks hat that i bought on that trip - i think they're from fairbanks though? alaska is awesome. that was my second trip there. really spectacular land. appreciative fans. would eat here again.

so after seeing the AMA Request I youtubed for your music and enjoyed.

What's the best way to support your music?

pick up a cd at your local cd store if this message was sent from 15 years ago. if not you can get my stuff at your favorite digital outlet, itunes, whatever. i have a website that's easy to find with tour dates and such. it feels weird doing too many plugs here. is that weird? am i weird?

Ace! This was my profile pic back when I had myspace! From years ago in either D.C. or Baltimore, I don't remember. Your parents were there and you felt weird about cussing in front of your adorable mom. You are so beautifully talented and humble. I love you.

thanks very much. my mom doesn't like cursing.


sure. i am inspired by the idea that the right piece of art connecting with the right listener/viewer at the right moment can evoke a feeling that nothing else in life offers. ask a broad question get a broad answer, but there you have it.

whats your favorite movie or a movie that has inspired you to write music?

i dont have a favorite anything. i really like movies, like almost all of them. i'm pretty easy to please. i mean i guess i technically know when i'm feeling something is "bad", but i dont know that i care - I'll still take it in. OK lemme think of recent ones i thought were good... i liked rango i think?

Ok so your AMA didn't flop. I guess you are famous for some reason, with out me reading all the questions can you explain to me why everyone wants to know about you? (Seriously I don't know who you are)

i have no fucking idea

Nice beard. I enjoy all your albums, but I torrented them. What kind of digital distribution methods do you employ to get your work out there? myspace and Facebook music are both unsuccessful, unless you're a Warner artist.

Bandcamp/personal websites seem to be the way to go, in my opinion.

i'm completely between situations at the moment. i'm in a position where a label could still benefit me, in which case i'd use whatever methods they employ. i could release things myself, but frankly i dont want to do the label-y work. i'll fuck it up. I'd like to have a label so i just deal with the creative side of things.

It's no secret that nobody in the music business knows what the fuck to do at this particular time.

So, when you tried to pet Charlotte and she denied you, how did that really make you feel? Does Blockhead desire you to feed him grapes while Sonic fans him wearing a hat or does he actually take it off? (;

bleep bloop

No question - Just had to say THIS HAS TO BE THE BEST LINE EVER!!

Fumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen.

Pour myself a cup of ambition.

And yawn and stretch, my life is a mess,

And if I never make it home today, God bless.

thanks. some people don't realize it's a tribute to dolly parton's 9-5. i guess i always thought that was obvious.

I have nothing to ask, but I really really love your music. "Coffee" is one of my favorite tracks. Keep up the amazing work.


My friends girlfriend just heard you for the first time and doesn't like your music, what would you say to her?

dear onedr0p's friend's girlfriend,

I completely and totally understand the position you have taken with my music. Many, many, many people dislike me. Often times i dislike my OWN music - how wacky is that?! hullooooo... ANNNNYYYwwaayyy, I want you to know that I hope that you, your boyfriend, and this poster have a fantastic monday. i mean REALLY good - get outside and SEE something awesome! Even if you have to work, or go to school, or whatever you have to do, make SURE you take a little time for you. everyone deserves it. you deserve it. be good to each other, ok?

best, A.R.

1) I think in "One of Four" you mention you enjoy painting. Have you ever had a showing or is there any place online I could check them out? I live in Alaska and I'd be really interested to see what you've created.

2) This might be tough, but can you post some pictures of your tattoos? I sort of saw a few at one of your shows in Anchorage in.. '09? They looked pretty boss.

Final thing... I accidentally got lost and stumbled upon you backstage before that show in Anchorage, my bad. I was so star-struck and you were totally awesome and got me early admittance to the show. That was actually the first concert I'd ever gone to, and it was amazing! Thank you.

i never got confident enough with the visual art stuff to show it publicly. i have been drawing a bunch recently, and i get waves of thinking i'll bust out of my shell one day with it, but it's a really personal endeavor at this point, and truth be told my skills have depleted much since the years i was at school.

tat pics might be hard. they might be on the googles somewhere.

thanks so much, glad you had fun.

Who would you say are your 5 biggest influences?

gobo, mokey, red, wembley, boober

What's your stance on blumpkins?

unwise for all parties


i dont plan much. on an unrelated note - i am not a jew.

Aesop Rock,

Do you believe that writing a hit record is not an easy task?

If so, do you believe you have what it takes to write a hit record?

is this a joke? i write a fucking hit record every time i take a shit. but seriously folks, i have no idea what it takes to write a hit record. wrong thread.

i have no idea what it takes to write a hit record. wrong thread.

"wrong thread" not quite, this is "ask me anything".

I wanted an actual answer from you but it's obvious I won't get one. Your fanbase is under the impression that you could write a hit record if you wanted to but choose not to because you don't want to jeopardize the integrity of your music. I call bullshit.

You can write 16's that are jam packed with space cadet pseudo intellectual nonsense all you want, but at the end of the day you couldn't write a record like 50's "In Da Club" to save your fucking life and you know it.

i just told you i have no idea what it takes to write a hit record. then you told me that i have no idea what it takes to write a hit record.

What is your "aesthetic", if you had to define it? what do you want people to get out of your music?

business casual, low drag, high torque, show me the money

Saw you in Boulder with Kimya Dawson recently. Fucking dope show. Never heard of you before then, really enjoyed your sound though. Keep up the good work.

thank you very much.

First off I just have to say I'm a huge fan. I met you during your Orlando stop in 2008 for the None Shall Pass tour. You performed with Rob Sonic and Blockhead was there. It was a pleasure meeting you guys and that performance was one of my favorite concerts ever - it was especially awesome that the stage was a detachable trailer in a parking lot. I remember before meeting you there was this guy that was freestyling and he was annoying everyone including you.


1) When will you release your next solo? None Shall Pass is my favorite album of yours but it's been 4 years!

2) What happened to that project with you and Cage?

3) I'm a fan of the new Hail Mary Mallon album, but noticed you went with a more Labor Days type flow on that album. Any reason for this after None Shall Pass?

4) Are there any other side projects in the future for you?

Once again, big fan, and thanks for signing a paper plate for me!

thanks very much - all your questions have been answered elsewhere in this ama.

1) What do yo think of Rhymesayers Entertainment? I feel like lyrically and musically they've got a lot of acts that are very similar to your style.

2) Who's your favorite artist (apart from yourself)?

1 - RSE are old friends. I would let anyone over there sleep on my couch. 2 - DAMN, i was gonna say I AM MY FAVORITE ARTIST, but now i cant. I'll go with Vermeer - wait... ashton kutcher probably.

In no particular order, what are five rappers you think are currently throwing down some sick material? Also, I saw you and Kimya in Madison last May and not only did you both kill it, but it was awesome you both came out after the show and gave me the chance to meet you. As a person that really connects with and respects your music, that's means a lot.

i think i answered the rappers question elsewhere here. glad you enjoyed the show. thanks a lot.

I JUST saw you in Sacramento last Thursday and have seen you twice before. Seriously, you are incredible. Just wanted to say thank you for coming to an oft-forgotten town and always putting on an amazing show.


What's your all-time favorite childhood memory?

all of my favorite childhood memories involve skateboarding.

1) you're awesome. relish in that. 2) The biggest hit you've had (as far as I can judge) was None Shall Pass. What would you like to have been your biggest hit, if not that song?

1 - you are kind 2 - doesnt really matter. i dont mind NSP. i have my own relationships with the songs that don't really echo the way a listener gets to experience them. at the end of the day whatever promotes the record best is fine by me.

Are you taking place in no shave November?

Also how do you feel about dubstep as a genre?

i think the real question here is "is November taking place in no shave me?"

dubstep is just a word i have heard a lot over the last few years. i dont know that i could identify a song as dubstep. in fact i'm positive i could not.

Do you know a place hid away from the streets From the cops and the heat and the fake-ass beefs Where the waves and the sand and the spraycans meet?

i do

So I interviewed you for an Australian magazine a couple months before Bazooka Tooth came out, and I think I quoted the first bars from Labor Days in the article that came of it. When you said "Journalists across the globe are officially critiquing my first eight bars" on the Bazooka Tooth intro you were thinking of that, right? ;)

if youre asking if i was specifically referring to you and our interaction, no. i have no recollection of that. i do a lot of interviews.

I don't really have a question for you but I just want you to know that Shere Kahn is one of the sickest songs of all time and you're an amazing artist.


What inspired the song "Non Shall Pass"? And whats your favorite food?

nsp is the title track on a record about people judging other people, so i'd say that idea in general. i like sandwiches, maybe a reuben.

I have a feeling you would love Angry Birds. Does anyone else say that?

i actually dont really like angry birds that much. it's ok.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

music or visual?

do you always listen to the beat as you write? i'm not a great rapper. i just enjoy writing, and listening to other's rap. It seems much easier to write to a beat, but sometimes it makes my phrasing too repetitive and the message gets lost. Do you ever put more focus first on the lyrics themselves and retrofit them to a beat for the challenge of making such unique phrasing, yet still retaining such thought-provoking lyrics?

i usually play the beat for a long time. then stop it while writing, then play. its a lot of stopping and starting. once i get a good start i can write without the beat. i know some people that just leave it on and can write while its playing - i cant do that. the beat helps me get and idea of where to put the sylablles, but i have to stop it to actually think of and formulate the words.

What got you geeked on hip hop? What made you want to rap?

shit's fun!

I'm not sure that I've heard any of your music, but I would very much like to. Where would you recommend a soon-to-be-new fan starts?

i say pickup my last solo album none shall pass. i also had an album out this year where I rap in a group with a one other guy called Hail Mary Mallon. maybe try either of those. thanks for the interest.

Hi, been listening to you for years now. What would you say is one song you did where you look back and say, 'Oh shit, that was amazing'?

Also, any new album in the works?

ha. that never happens. yes new album - info in this thread.

Oh my god yes! I just want to say I've been a huge fan since None Shall Pass was released... that album was one of the major highlights of my high school experience.

My question to you is, since I know you have good taste, what are you listening to lately?

christian lunch

What is your opinion on the current Hip-Hop scene?

it's all over the place but there's some nice stuff sometimes.

How has the move from NY to SF affected your production style? There is a distinct difference in the sound, I'd like to know what you think changed after the move.

i think any difference in sound is just me learning over time. making beats is something i have done for a long time, but i do feel like i had a bit of a break through in the last few years. it's weird to call what i do "production". i kinda mash sounds together and see what sticks. caveman hit drum.

Who the fuck is Lucy?

i knew slug was using the name a lot and i used it as a little shout to him. i asked him if it was ok and he thought it was neat. mine is a totally made up person.

Less of a question and more just statements, and I hate to sound like a gushing fan, but you're awesome. My brother literally named his son Aesop because you are his favorite artist. Any time someone tells me they love rap, I immediately tell them to look up Aesop Rock. So, thank you for some amazing music.

wow thank you and thank him. cowabunga, always.

This isn't a question as much as a statement.

Your writing is on a higher level that leaves me feeling inspired every time I put one of your albums on. You're a testament to the idea that content shall prevail over style.

i would say content and style are equally important, and if i fail to bring one to the table, i fail period.


i just meant i listened to everything and found that the sound of words always caught my ear, how they were placed, alternate ways to say things, etc. not necessarily studying specific exercises.

I really hope you get to read this Aesop. Highschool was a really rough time for me and nothing really made since at all, between parents fighting and harassment at school I guess I just lost my mind, so to speak. Nothing made since expect your music, and I know that may sound really cheesy but it got me through alot.

I just want to say thank you for being there, there's no telling where I would have ended up.

i really appreciate this, thank you.

You've mentioned religion (or your lack thereof) in your lyrics on a number of tracks. Is there some story behind your departure from religion or have you been an atheist your whole life?

i had to go to church and ccd up through "confirmation". i never felt any connection to any of it but didn't really have a choice. once i moved out, blammo.

Who is your favorite rapper/rap group, that made you want to be a rapper, whether it is their style, or songwriting.

really the answer is all the usual suspects who my generation grew up with. it was not really as divided as it is now as far as mainstream, indie, blah blah, then it was all just music, and hip hop had energy unlike anything i had heard. many groups, many people.

How long does it usually take to come up with lyrics for your songs? They're often so complex and layered, it always seemed to me like they must take forever.

too damn long. sometimes it flows well, but sometimes it all creeps along. i have to just tell myself to be patient and it will come. it usually does.

What is your favourite item of food to have for breakfast ?

bacon egg and cheese on a toasted croissant

What the hell is a barnacle magnet...?


How comfortable are you freestyling?

weird i thought i answered this one yesterday. maybe my computer bugged. i would say in 2011 i am fine freestyling when i need to. sometimes it comes up in a show setting. it's not something i ever aimed to be particularly good at on it's own, and i would say a great majority of my current freestyle activity is done in cars to annoy whoever is driving.

Are there any tips you can give to an aspiring producer?

i have no idea what im doing. really.

On Daylight - Thank You (Bonus) you talk about what sounds like panic attacks or anxiety. I've been there. Curious to know if you would share what got you there, any specific event or whatever? For me it was when my brother died.

nothing i could sum up quickly.

Woodchip Grinder is amazing. Any chance of you coming back to KC to do more work with Mac Lethal?

thanks. sure i'd work with the mac lethal again.

What is the one person you would absolutely love to work with? Past or present.

troy hurtubise

Immortal Technique is playing a show right now just a couple miles from my house, and I'm missing it because I'm sitting at home doing schoolwork. Very sad. Then I see this thread. Now happy. You salvaged the night for me bro.

What is your favorite musical instrument to listen to?

hm. i really don't know. at one time it was the bass. these days i really am intro drums. i guess i could listen to any instrument if the song is nice.

I don't know what to say other than you are my favorite music artist. Your lyrics hit so close to home. You took a lot of the edge off the hard times. You influenced a lot of my writing too. Thank you, just thank you.

thank you very much!

Hell yeah, your collaboration with Jeremy Fish was like...two things that go really well together. I'll live the similes to you. Got no questions for you, just want to say that I'm a fan.


awesome, thanks. SPB indeed.

Have you thought of stepping up and getting political like Boots Riley has done with Occupy Oakland?

Boots is fantastic, and is made for that role. Just played with Jel the other day and he was saying how well Boots handled the situation over there when he was at Occupy Oakland.

I personally don't really mix politics with my artistry. It's just not my place.

No Regrets is one of my favourite songs. Ever. What is it with emcees and girls named Lucy? If there's ever been a better song about sticking to your guns and doing you until the day you die, I haven't heard it. Songs like that sing to black sheep man.

... and that running mix you did for Nike has been my alarm-clock ringer on my phone for over a year. If you haven't heard it, wake up to it one morning. You'll feel awesome if you're the type to lay and listen to the music for 15 minutes or so.

... and not one legitimate question was given. Just sayin' you're dope as fuck man, come to Toronto sooner than later.


Hey man appreciate you taking the time to do an AMA and I find your music real inspiring. I crack up every time I watch this and see you popping up


now that you have reddit gold, will you be sticking around and becoming a full fledged redditor?

i will continue to read reddit, as i really learn a lot here. i dont involve myself in the upvoting or downvoting, and while i see people talk about reddit gold, i dont really know what it means. i just like to read the conversations, and i find that i learn about things that i normally would tune out for.

Guess the venue!

jeez i dunno. i almost said like 5 different ones but im sure id be wrong. they all mix up in my head at this point.

I've heard that you put your heart and sould into the Float album, I'm sure you've done that for all your albums but what song in particular did you spend the most time on?

i do not remember.

I remember many years ago when a friend of mine introduced me to you, at the time I absolutely hated rap music, but after listening to your song Daylight a few times through I became hooked on your music. I got interested in rap music because of you, thanks :)

cool thanks. there's a lot of wonderful rap music, and i hope you continue to investigate.

"Protagonists" off of Felt 3 is one of my favorite beats of all time. It's got the same smack-you-in-the-face sort of sound as another one of my favorites, P.O.S.'s Half Cocked Concepts.

Any recommendations for further listening?

thanks so much. i really like that beat a lot too. if i hadn't gotten the Felt 3 gig, i imagine a bunch of those Felt beats wouldve made up portions of my next solo record. I'm glad the pieces fell as they did, but i definitely would liked taking a crack at that beat.

recommendations are listed elsewhere. here's one - brand nubian's one for all.

What do you tell people who think your lyrics are a little abstract ? I love your music, but I'll be honest, I sometimes have a little trouble understanding what you are talking about. Is this on purpose ?

Favorite lyric: Those wings will never leave the ground without a feather and a lottery ticket. - I am happy to report I actually understand that one.

i do creative writing. admittedly the ideas can be full of wordplay and abstractions, but i dont think the songs are as difficult to understand as people make them out to be. I try to present things in an interesting way.

I wouldn't say i confuse people on purpose, this is just what i do. people can come along or not.

Yo Aesop! Been a fan for a while now. What was it like working with Slug and Murs? And what's you're funniest moment of your rap career?

spoke on slug and murs elsewhere. funniest moment is when i realized i could write rap songs and still get to use the word 'career'.

First, you are the best. Through 900bats, you got me into Isaiah Toothtaker. How about a Bazooka Tooth x Toothtaker collab?

awesome. i would definitely work with isaiah.

as someone who takes music seriously i listen to a lot more underground rap than i do mainstream...for obvious reasons. i've been listening to your stuff for a while now. "none shall pass" has been my theme song the last 2 weeks. i just wanted to say thanks. keep it real

awesome and thank you

When you started out rapping I am sure you had some real downer days or obstacles. What helped you overcome them or keep your eye on the prize and how do you keep your self grounded now that you have tasted success?

well, a couple thoughts - firstly, the obstacles never stop. there are always obstacles. second, i have a small amount of notoriety, and it feels fantastic to be recognized for my work on any level, but i am by no means some outrageous celebrity. i probably hang out with less people now than i did before i did music. i work a lot to make this situation work for me. i like that i don't have to wake up for a day job, but im not just floating by.

What was it like the first time you realized you "Made it big"?

Overwhelming? Shocking? Much ado about nothing?

i'll let you know

9-5er anthem is awesome. not a question. it is just awesome.

thank you so much.

Aesop, I have never listened to any of your music knowingly. Why should I give your music a chance?

I want you to sell me your music like if you were a car salesman! what points are great and what aspects aren't so good in your opinion?

Then, just for shits and giggles, I want you to sell it to me like you are a scumbag dealer selling an 8 year old crack!

my music is baby powder to a clean, dry ass cheek. your move.

First off, thank you for exploiting the amazing gift you have of stringing words together to make music !!!! I was wondering how you met Blockhead? I saw him the other night in NOLA after STS9, and it just seems like you have very similar styles, just different talents.

we met freshman year of college at Boston University in 1994. We didn't have class or anything together, but we somehow found out we both liked rap and were from ny, started hanging, blah blah rappy rap.

Top 3 meals /snacks your mom made for you as a kid?

peanut butter on a banana peanut butter in celery with raisins peanut butter on crackers

Considering your involvments with most of the Deep Puddle Dynamics collaborators, were you approached to participate in the project? If so is there a specific reason you accepted / declined?

i was not. i really only know slug and dose. i have only met the others in passing.

Checked out your music because of this thread. It's pretty slick. Thanks for making good music.

much appreciated.

Sup bro?


No questions. Just love.

no answers. Just love.

Was there ever a single moment when you realized that you had really made it and people everywhere were loving what you do?

not really. i convince myself everything i do will fail. i am bad at celebrating any minot successes i have had because i tend spend most of my time worrying about tomorrow. HELP!

If the zombie apocalypse occurred tomorrow, would you be prepared?

i'd love to say yes, but in the spirit of honest - no.

Where exactly does your seemingly bottomless supply of vocabulary come from?

i dont think i have that big of a vocabulary. i think what i do relies more on stringing the right words together in an order that is interesting to hear. for me, anyway.

Why have you always continued to make music? What motivates you to wake up everyday and do your thing? Big fan and was just wondering.

i really love it. there is no better feeling to me than writing a rhyme or making a song that i am satisfied with. it's difficult in a scenario like this to just list my favorite verses or songs ive done as some have been requesting, but they all come with a weird moment of "oh dip" when something clicks. it's a feeling good enough to continue to pursue. when the rhyme falls in place after being stubborn or something. oh yes. oh yes.

You're the reason I love hip hop. Labor Days is astounding. Thank you.


Big fan of your beard. I feel like you could grow a mean mustache. Have you ever / would you ever?

i have something in the works now. i think there's a pic of me from Australia a couple weeks ago on this page


this is really impossible because there are stories that could go in every direction. I'm not really that wild to tour with, and most of my touring-with-wilder-folk is behind me. i dont drink, and i pretty much show up to do my job and put on a show. that said, strange things happen all the time.

A couple weeks ago in Brisbane we had a soundman quit during sound check. Nothing too crazy, but definitely a first.

Hey man, love your shit. Saw you at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis back in May, you killed it. "The Harbor Is Yours" is probably my favorite song ever. What was your reason to start rapping instead of pursuing visual art as your career?

i did both for a long time. people started wanting to buy my songs before my art. i still like to draw, but i definitely did not put the focus on it i wish i had. for a long time it was all i did, and all i wanted to do. rap was more of a hobby that ended up winning.


everyone has had a myspage page. you haven't heard of me because i am terrible at what i do.

Fuck yeah man, keep up the great music.

thank ya!

I don't haver a question, saw you a few years back at coachella, it was off the hook. Thanks.

thank youuuuuuu

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard about you?

sounds like a robin egg hatching

Do you still do that daylight singalong?

Was one of my best experiences at a show ever at bonnaroo in 07'

Thanks for putting out quality music and introducing me to so much more.

sigh... yes we do. sometimes i skip it but i always get yelled at when i do.

You shouldn't always do it, makes it that much more special when you do. I'm blown away by you answering. Thanks a ton.

The third time I saw you I paid 60$ for the tickets because the one my girlfriend gave me didn't work. Thanks again.

lately we've worked it into the middle of the set more, so it no longer holds the finale spot. it's the first step in exorcising the demon.

Thank you for creating "None Shall Pass"

thanks for listening!

So, I first heard of you from a song you did with RJD2. How was it, working with him?

I have not seen RJ in a while, but he was always friendly and easy to work with.

Is this going better than you thought it would?


What delicate cycle of events led up to you rapping about this kind of imagery? After having been a fan for many years and memorizing a ton of densely packed lyrics, there is obviously a consistent theme you're working in and around. Would you say it's like an emotional response to dehumanizing/authoritative bullcrap, an adherence to the motto of Must Not Sleep, Must Warn Others, or something else entirely different?

Anyhow, I just want to say that your music has always meant a lot to me. I'm naturally a very introspective person and it connected to me in a way that has contributed to me feeling more connected with myself so that I can meaningfully connect with others, if that makes any sense. I just feel like it's okay to be me, even if society tells me I'm wrong, weird, or wack.

Also, I just wanted to say that your production skills have steadily improved over the years. Honestly, I wasn't too keen on some of your early work but you have only gotten better and better as you have defined your own sound. Congratulations on your success and I look forward to your continued growth.

thanks very much. it's hard to say what led me to this. i try to amuse myself and hope others are amused by the same.

Do you have the rad moves?

i got the rad, rad, rad moves. hey.

Thanks for doing this, Aes. You've been my favorite artist since I was about 11 so I have so much I could ask you, but I'll make it short.

Who is YOUR favorite hip-hop artist?

What is your favorite memory if Camu? (it's totally cool if you don't want to answer that.)

And last question- pretty random- but was the homeless man who plays the trumpet you talk about in Battery inspired by a real guy? Either way, that song had some of the most powerful lyrics I've ever heard.

This will probably get buried, and that's fine, but thank you for your music and opening me up to the world of real hip hop. There's not much that can compare to it, in my opinion. And, just throwing this out there, you'd make my life if you were to ever do a show in Mississippi.

thanks so much.

Your skills are so wet dude, can I get John Darnielle's phone number? If not can I get yours? We'll do an EP.

thanks, no, no, no.

No questions. You the man.

you TOO!

Huge fan sir :) Fantastic work!

What is your favourite substance to inebriate your body and mind?

What is your favourite instrument?

What is your favourite animal?

In your opinion, what is the best breakfast?


Sir, I have no questions to ask, I just want you to know that your music is beautiful, and has affected my life in a very positive way. Thank you.

thanks very much that is nice.

What happened to the frog you found?

if you mean the one in the video recently on the Bats site, he was released at the end of the video and is now probably chilling on a leaf.

Eating a burrito? Most likely. Also, Aesop, I'm a high school senior; applying for colleges and shit. Do you have any words of wisdom for me?

Hm. Words... of... wisdom... It's funny, I occasionally get asked for something like this. I never really know what to say, as I am generally a mess and seeking the same. I am hesitant to tell anyone how to do anything with their lives, and i unfortunately don't have any canned pearls at the ready. My whole life continues to unfold in some strange way that I definitely never planned on. That said I am (for the most part) fine with how it has. Life is - hm.

I'd say there's not really one right way to do any of this shit. I think I wish I believed that more when i was younger.

Good luck with school!

best A.R.

What was it like working with Tobacco?

answered elsewhere

Coming to LA soon?!


my other question was already answered, but your replies aren't showing up. another try;

favorite hip hop voice? as in like tone not counting delivery or other techniques

maybe DOOM. Slick Rick. young zee. G Rap. camu had a phenomenal rap voice. aceyalone. guru. prodigy. lots of great voices!

if there was one thing in the world that you could abolish instantly, what would you do away with?


how many pairs of pants do you have at one time on average?

cancer. just one pair.

Are you going to do any shows with one be lo and abilities on their 2011 tour?

not that i'm aware of but perhaps i'll show up to shake their hands and say "right the fuck on, gentelmen!"

What sparked your desire to move to San Francisco? I've always associated much of your earlier music to what I've come to call "a very gritty New York style" and I guess I just always assumed you'd always stay there just to keep feeding off the vibes of the city.

(Not sure if that makes any sense, but there it is.)

a lady. i also had about 30 years in NY. i was ok with moving on, and ultimately glad i did. While i love NY like nowhere else, i think the best thing for a lot of NYers is to leave at some point, for a while.

As i've just seen your appearance for the first time, I am shocked. I thought you were a strong looking black man. Similarly, i thought atmosphere would be a much more manly looking individual, as his words are so powerful. So thanks for that.

i am a weak looking white man. Atmosphere is a group.

that was fast, 1 second I upvote a post to let you know that we want and need you... then all of a sudden you are here. What are you doing? You are famous, shouldn't you be making money, fucking bitches right now?

what makes you think i'm not making money and fucking bitches right now?

From a fan in Portugal. Any chance we might see you here for a concert anytime soon ?

i would love to. i'd like to go hard next year, so maybe? i will look into it.

When and how did you meet Slug? A Tribute to Rose Perez is one of my all time favorite killed man

one of us got the others phone number sometime in about 1998. We played phone tag. then we spoke, it was valentines day. then we sent packages of rap to each other. then he came to NY and we did songs. Then we got old.

How did you come about doing a collaboration with cage and do you think there will be anymore of that delicious action in the future

Cage is an old friend. Yes we will work more.

huge fan,

Were you friends with artist jeremy fish before letting him design the look of the "none shall pass" album? Was there something in his artwork you felt connected to that album or your music in general?

we had been friends for a couple years by the time NSP came out. By the time he was doing the art, we were close and really on the same page for what the vision was. I always thought Fish's work combined the cute with the spooky well. i like to try to do that in my stuff.


It was just about a particular summer, skating a lot, a very specific group of friends, acting wacky, etc.

Aes, you are amazing. Your song All Day has come with me on more runs than I can count. Is there any chance you would do something like this again?

Also, would you consider making a video with Banksy?

i would love another shot at something like that project i did for Nike, mostly because i am confident i could do a way better job now.

I don't know that i'd have the oppurtunity to make a video with Banksy, but sure.

Holy shit! That was quick.

What album of your's are you most proud of and is there any album that you regret for whatever reason?

they are all pretty hard to listen to for me.

I love you guys. Been a fan for years.

thanks. we do our best.

How would you define the word "jackal" in Big Bang et al ?

young badass

Where did you and Camu Tao meet? Loved your Couch Boys project-- really great stuff, got me turned on to Camu Tao in the first place. Just shows how much two talented individuals can accomplish. No $20,000 studio rentals necessary.

i first met Camu in his hometown of Columbus, OH. in 1998 my friend blueprint had me and some friends out to rap. it was my first show outside the tri state area. Camu's then group, MHz, was also on the bill. Years later he moved to NY and we had friends in common. Eventually we just hit it off and started hanging out a lot. Couch Boys was pretty silly, i think i still have like 5 or 6 of those songs that i never put on the internet. just some fun times.

What is a strange hobby/interest you have that not a lot of people know about you?

i'm a porn star

Can you appear at Soundset this year?

i dont know. i love all those guys but i don't do well in those settings - giant hip hop festivals. i just feel way overwelmed and would much rather play a smaller venue.

Do you ever get writer's block? If so, got any tips for getting passed it?

:( i haven't been able to write anything for the past 4 months, got kicked off of a netlabel about a month ago, and am generally just discouraged with music anymore.

I could really use some inspiration.

EDIT: bonus question: what does it take to collaborate with you?

this happens a lot. i dont know why. for me i write faster when collaborating, but when it comes to my own stuff i nitpick way too much and it can sometimes grind to a hault. it is maybe the worst feeling i know. all i can say is go for a walk. i realize that's lame advice, but it's the best i've got.

Drawbridge is one of my favorite songs, how did that song come to be and how was working with Dose One?

thanks. thats an oldie. dose was another one who somehow we ended up on the phone and sharing music. i think he lived in OH at the time. he at some point came to ny, we made the song. he was responsible for getting me signed to Mush records for my first "official" record deal. nice guy.

Sup Ace. Thanks for doing the AMA. You got any artists in mind for your next solo jawn's cover?

i do! someone i am extremely excited about, but it shall remain under wraps for now.

A lot of people who say they typically don't like rap admit to really liking a lot of your music. What are your thoughts on this?

it's weird but i'm cool with anyone liking my music for any reason.

Yo, A.R. Just wanted to say thanks for turning this metalhead on to indie hip-hop. You and CanOx got me into the world in which you live. Without you and the whole DefJux crew, I wouldn't have the depth of music appreciation as I do now.


I realize that this is probably going to get driven to the bottom of the thread but I shall try regardless, I've always wondered what your inspiration was for 11:35 on Bazooka Tooth. Could I get some background on that song? or any other songs on that album for that matter?

me and lif knew we wanted to collaborate, and i remember just sitting in my apt in BK at the time flipping through disc of Blockhead beats. That one jumped out at us, and we wanted to do some back-and-forth stuff as opposed to just each doing one verse. I'm not sure how we came up with the concept, but we got into doing these little short stories, over in 4 sentences, about different people. i really like saying peoples names in my songs. i like to reference someone that nobody will know, but they know it could be a real person. like if i said "then i saw judy at the store". judy mad real yo!

edit - i made up judy.

Hey man, thanks for doing this. I've spent half my life listening to your music at this point, you're a huge influence in all types of art I work on. You've been asked most things I'd like to know already so i was just wondering what your favorite movie is at the moment?

at the moment i keep watching your highness. i realize this movie gets in the 25% range on rotten tomatoes. i dont care.

Is it awkward when people mistake you for David Blaine?

never happened, but he did a card trick on me once a LONG time ago. Maybe before his first TV special. a good friend of mine was good friends with him, and he ended up at a show of mine at the Spiral - which i think is gone. it was a shithole on houston and avenue A. if you had a pulse you could perform there. anyway yeah, he was nice and did a badass card trick. then he did some trick on blockhead that made block think david blaine might have real magical powers, and i think he has been a little scare of him since.

I have no idea who you are. Can you explain?

i'm running for president under the stage name Sarah Palin

I've been a fan for about 6 years. I have an immense amount of respect for all that you do. I have to know though, what is a perfect day for you? Details, please!

get up. drink 1 coffee at my local coffee place. Answer emails while sitting and drinking. Get a refill before walking home. Turn on machines and try to make beats. Eat some chicken friend steak. Return home to write some rhymes. Have sex with some sort of apparition. Enter R.E.M.

This is probably buried by now, but how do you feel about many rappers that have "sold out"? Do you think this is a serious problem in underground hip-hop?

"Selling Out" is a term that can lose it's definition once you break the age of 16. Everyone has their own moral code that they apply to their music. I try to not judge people's songs on where i heard them first, and i'm happy for friends if they land big money gigs. I think it would be unenjoyable to maintain a lifestyle of making music i hate just for a check, and i don't plan on doing that. beyond that basic concept, i'm pretty easy.

What's your process for avoiding clich├ęd metaphors/coming up with your own? Like is the metaphor just one of the random notes that pop into your head then you save it in your phone, or do you get a topic/scenario you want to rap about and think what's a more poetic way to describe it? Hope that makes sense

i guess they all come from different places. sometimes a metaphor is nice when it's super detailed and specific, other times a quick punch. as far as avoiding cliches, i think that's what everyone should be doing. if i feel myself going there, or even going somewhere i've already been, i do my best to remedy that.

What's your biggest public musical mistake?

i guess forgetting a verse here and there which i can usually kinda fumble and freestyle through. There's also been all sorts of technical issues that have caused awkward moments over the years.

You are one of my favorite musicians. I know most of the lyrics to your songs but I have one question.

What the fuck are you saying? I truly believe you must be a genius because the analogies you make go directly over my head and I am forced to just reiterate what you are saying rather than walk away with a, "Wow, I'm glad someone else thinks like me!" Don't get me wrong, I love your music, but can you confirm that I am not just retarded and you are indeed making up brilliant metaphors?

i can confirm that i am brilliant, yes.

From your work with Living Legends to your solo work, who has been for favorite artist to work with? And could you tell me a little bti about The Grouch and Slug, what kind of guys are they to work with?

well just to be clear, there is also an "Aesop" in the Living Legends crew. I am friendly with him and all those guys. They've been putting it down for a long time in cali and kinda doing what we were doing in ny at the same time, trying to build up a scene, etc. Grouch is a great guy, invited me to be in one of he and Elighs videos once.

Hey Aesop. I wanna say that i have put so much thought into your music and lyrics and you have an amazing way with words and the style is so fresh. your work has caused me to think more creatively. thanks for everything you've done man, you're sick as fuck.

thanks so much. awesome.

I don't really have a question but a friend got a Pigs tattoo a few months back. I thought it came out really well.



Question #2: What do you think about hip hop music as a commodity? I see a lot of rap these days that, at least in my own head, I can't see a person making if they weren't simply doing it to make money. There's just some music that seems to be developed as a product to sell, and not pieces of art. Does this seem accurate to you? What are your thoughts on the idea of music as product versus art?

i guess that seems accurate enough, sure. people do this stuff for all sorts of reasons. it doesnt mean i can't like it just because the motive may be different than mine. That said, i do take this stuff seriously and try to approach making music as an artist. that's how it makes sense to me.

Your voice seems to be mic'd or mixed differently on None Shall Pass, making it sound much deeper than on your previous records. Was this a conscious decision, and if so, what spurred it?

not a conscious decision. my last 3 or 4 albums were probably all on different mics. the early ones were on shure 58.

HI! Any chance you will ever travel to the land down under?

ha. i just got back.

So, out of all the trends in music over the past 100 years, which would you say would be one of your favorites. non genre specific, and not clothing or style specific. Just any trend. thanks

hm. good question. it's hard to not be a fan of auto-tune at this point - the trend, not the actual sound. it's probably the absolute longest, slowest car crash in the history of music. absolutely unbelievable.

It's really hard to say. i like this question, but shit -100 years is a lot of trends. and trends are different when you didn't actually live through them, so i hesitate to say something from before my time. final answer - i dont know.

Get up to get down now... You done any acid lately? Love that song, maybe my meaning is different but it's so true. 900bats is awesome to man, love the vids little snippits of awesome. Cheers.

thanks very much. no acid lately.

What are your favorite words?

dinner is on the table!

What was your inspiration for the None Shall Pass video?

me and Fish wanted to do an animated video using his drawings to tell this way in depth tale about judgement that nobody could possibly ever pull from the video. I actually don't like how this video turned out, and really wish we had another shot at it. ah well, on to the next...

Any advice on freestyling?


Personally came in lat so if this has already been answered I'm sorry. here it goes. I wa turned on to hiphop a couple years ago by a friend of mine. The very first song of yours I was exposed to was daylight. I've heard from a number of people that this wad written on an excellent acid trip, and nightlight was respectively written on or about a bad trip. Is there any truth to these rumors? secondly, I've heard a number of times that the biggest criticism of your music is your lyrics are too complex. I've hard people say your metaphors are extremely deep and the counter to that is that you string together words with nonsensical meaning to use your voice as.just another sound to go with the rest of your music. Is there always meaning in what you say, and do all your songs have unified themes?

no i never wrote a song on acid. i've answered the other one elsewhere.

Has anyone ever said you look a little like Jimmy Fallon?

i have heard this, though im way doughier in general. i used to get brandon frasier a lot before my beard was a permanent fixture.

any plans to keep working with Jeremy Fish on the artwork front ?

he will not be doing my next album's artwork, but yes we will inevitbaly do more together. he's a good bud and whenever either of us comes up with a cool idea on a collab, we go for it.

Real Question: What was the 90 minute KFAI freestyle like? It's a song that when it comes up on my playlist, I have to listen to the whole thing.

i just looked this up. this is mnpls, so i am goin to assume you mean the long one with slug, eyedea, sage, blueprint, illogic from a long time ago? it was... fun! we were all in town for a show, and some recording and headed to the radio show to promote the concert i think. usually that involves rapping, and in those days freestyle rapping. some of those guys can go forever, i cant keep up.

How was working with Tom Fec/Tobacco on Dirt?

Did you work closely on it?

Did he come to you or was it the other way around?

good to see tobacco getting a lot of love. i answered this elsewhere.

Hey im from Suffolk county out near Riverhead, In the song Catacomb kids or any of your songs what kind of stuff from Suffolk influenced your lyrics. Besides the phenomenon of every kid in Suffolk hanging out at King kullen parking lots at sometime in their life.

it was just that, skating in the suburbs of NY. everything i learned was from skating. meeting people. skate videos constantly put me on to new music. traveling around, having adventures in different cities. i guess that kinda life style.

1) You're awesome as fuck.

2) Was the second verse off The Greatest Pac Man Victory In History spur of the moment stream of consciousness stuff, memories from acid trips, or what? That song always blows my mind.

1- thanks! 2- it's never spur of the moment stream of conscious for me. It's all thought out and pretty calculated.

How you be so great, sir?

aw dip!

Your fucking awesome aesop i still try and decipher your amazing lyrics! king of ny underground no doubt

aw double dip!

I had seen you and ELP around the Carrol Gardens/Red Hook many years ago. If you still live around there could you stop in and tell Lana the barber and Margaret Palca that Liam says hi?

i live in california now.

Have you ever considered doing a whole album with Tobacco? Dirt is simply amazing.

i have and we will definitely collaborate more in some capacity at some point.

First off I need to say you're my hero and probably one of the most influential people in my life. I've also been on a binge of your music lately.

You have a lot of repeated themes in your songs, tugboats, bricks, etc. Where do these impact your life and where do they come from?

weird lyrical themes kinda come and go, they'll stick around for the length of a record, or a few songs, and then that's it. it's probably half a product of getting stuck and half wanting to link your material a little to make it cohesive.

I have no idea who you are but a lot of people seem to admire your work. What is one compelling reason you can give me to stop being lazy and listen to your music already?

i can eat 50 eggs.

I have to say that I've been hoping and waiting for the day that you would do an AMA. Just want to say thanks for making some of my all time favorite music and also for providing me with a sweet username for reddit.

thank you very much!

If you were to have sex with Dame Judi Dench for some reason, do you think you would enjoy it on some level?


Any funny / interesting stories from your tour with Kimya and Rob? Also Who is the musician you most want to collaborate with but haven't gotten the chance to yet? Also Also Watsky?

i have been touring with Rob for many years and he is one of my best friends in the world. the funniest guy you will ever meet. I don't think i could tour without him at this point. DJ Wiz too. We've only been touring with Kimya as of this year but she is fantastic. super funny, smart, amazing performer. It's hard to think of individual stories, but it was really one of the more enjoyable tours i've done. we took the same lineup to Australia recently and that too was great.

There are some brilliant new acts out there like Das Racist, Odd Future, Danny Brown, Clam's Casino, Mr. Exquire ect. who are making stuff in the same style and vein as big name commercial hip hop, rather than conscious, underground stuff. Do you think the underground/commercial barrier in hip hop is breaking down? How do you come at that as a guy that is defiantly seen as a Backpacker/Def Jux type of act?

i don't agree with your opening statement and therefore kinda can't to the question part.

When I am completely unmotivated 9-5ers anthem gets me to work.

How do you take your coffee?

2 large coffees, half and half, 5 splenda each

First off, thank you for sharing your talent with the world.

Secondly, No Regrets has to be one of my favorite song's/stories i have ever heard. Can you talk a little bit about that song? Writing/recording/etc.

thank you very much.

i remember in those days i rarely rapped on a beat as fast as the beat Blockhead gave me for no regrets. i remember just liking the music, but i just plain didnt know how to fit my style onto a beat at that tempo. it was probably the fastest tempo i had worked with at that point. I guess i remedied it by really making the rhyme scheme as simple as possible, and keeping the story super linear. I also could never think of endings in those days, so the character always just died. Recorded at my apt on avenue A in 2000 on a Roland vs-880 digital 8 track. i did all of float, labor days, and the daylight EP on that 8 track.

Are you planing to release another solo album any time in the near future? As much as I love your colab stuff, I would love to see another solo come out. Huge fan too, by the way <3

yep, info elsewhere in thread. thanks!

Is there any relation between your new beard and jeremy fish? He sports a pretty impressive beard himself.

he does have quite a beard. i dont think mine is related. im on a real mission right now. Fish really has a classy wizard look, where as i kind of just look homeless. I'm going for something... i'll let you know when i find it.

What did you do before you were able to do music full-time?

after college i worked in a few art galleries in nyc packaging and shipping art. that's the job i quit to rap.

By the look of that beard you're doing No-Shave-November. Anyway, where do you find the inspiration for your work? That is to say, do you have a creative muse or influence?

Also, thanks for the AMA!

no one specific place or person. just kinda keep my eyes and ears peeled. sometimes i sit in my house for days with a blank paper wondering why it's not coming. then i'll take a walk and boom. who knows.

Daylight is lyrically the best song I've ever heard. Thank you for making it. That is all.

aw shucks!

You made me not want to kill myself for a while. You're so fun to listen to in more ways than one, and it just made me happy.

Thank you so much for that.

:)- I fucking love Coffee. I kept trying and trying til I had T-A-K-E-N-O-P-R-I-S-O-N-E-R-S down pat and could sing the part by John Darnielle. Thanks again.

thank you!

This is absolutely absurd. I've always wondered, while listening to your albums, what I'd ask you if I ever got the chance to ask you a question. Because I'm a huge fan!

And the moment I FINALLY get the chance to ask it, I still haven't found that question... Ah sod it, I guess just telling you that you're awesome is enough for me. Keep doing what you do best, shall be always listening.

And protip: Slug is (still) a good idea for a collaboration. Or Atmosphere as a whole, while you're at it. :D

thank youuuuu.

A couple days ago you shared the stage with who cares at sac state, can you do that again soon? It was a killer show and who cares deserves the attention.

we have played with them several times over the years. yes we will be back.

Hey AR. I saw you at the Greek in Berkeley earlier this year. Just wanted to say that you put on a damn good show. Keep it up!


Holy shit! Aesop you were my favorite rapper in highschool! Much respect, I liked your producing on the last Felrt Album. Was it a very collaborative effort, you know, where oyu, slug and murs all have about the same input?

Also, are you still off the tobacco?

i just kept sending beats to those guys, they veto's a few, but wrote to a ton. way too many.

i quit tobacco cold turkey 5 years ago. not a drag.

Is that a gnome in your picture? Is there a story behind it?

it is a wizard. he is my roomate.

What food/place do you crave/miss from NPT?

king kullen parking lot. downtown by the phones.

I want to just say that your work is incredible. Also, the cover art for your albums is incredible. Some q's. Who do you listen to now? Who would you like to work with? Finally, I feel that the death of physical music media (ie cds) and the stores that sell them has hurt the ability of fans to find new and better music. Especially underground music. It can be harder to find online music if you just dont know what you are looking for. As an artist who has stayed true to art and not commerce, how do you battle the tide of the itunes and clearchannels?

answered the first couple elsewhere.

i dont really have a good answer for the last one. that is THE question. whenever i get stressed about that kinda stuff my friend Matt says "creativity conquers all". I think it's a load of shit, but it sounds good, and he owns a successful company so i pretend he's right and just keep doing my shit.

Hey Aesop.

I have a confession to make; I only found out about you roughly two months ago because of a post on reddit. So I can't say I've been to a show or I've been a fan for so long, but your work is really inspirational. Your flow is smooth as butter, and, from a technical standpoint, your lyrics are brilliantly written (not to mention thought-provoking most of the time). I'm trying to push your albums to everyone I think will be interested, and I'm glad to see that so many people on reddit appreciate your work -- I'm hoping it translates to more mainstream attention.

I have just one question. You've said multiple times in this thread that you don't get your inspiration from any one source, but I'm hoping you remember enough about Coffee to get a little more specific about it. It's my favorite song you've come out with, and I would love to know more about the history behind it.

thanks so much.

that one for me was me being grumpy and saying 'i prefer to be left alone, na na na na na'. but rhyming.


an oldie! i think that was a general life-is-hard tune.

I don't really have a question, I just wanted to say that your music has inspired me to keep going through the toughest and darkest points in my life. So, thank you.

thank you too.


i'd love to, tell them to hire me again!


long time fan; tugboat complex pt3 + Water + Bent Life Top 3

I always wanted a chance to ask you about your inspiration and hero's.

No joke, your lyrics, especially hearing them for the first time made me frown at my favorite line up for its lack of lyrical beauty.

you are kind.

Who do you think would win in a drunken fistfight between ROB and WIZ?

jeez. i wouldn't want to be there, but i mean... Rob is huge. Wiz is a big guy too, but Rob is not the guy you want punching parts of you that you intend on keeping. i dont know... they would both knock me the fuck out!

How do you handle that one last piece of poop that just won't let go of your hiney? Urgent, please reply soon

how do you feel about your songs' use in tony hawk pro skater? i love it

i love it too! the neversoft guys were great to me and licensed my stuff for a couple of the games. they let me go to E3 with them one year. thumbs up.

Random non-musical question.

One of your pictures shows your firing a bow, was that just for the sake of the picture or do you actually practice? What type of bow do you have if the latter is true?

it was a fake bow from a costume shop. randomly, however, i was an archery counselor at summer camp when i was like 15. i havent done it since but i bet i could hit a baked ham at 30 paces in 3 shots. though i kind of have a bad shoulder these days. hard to say. will report back.

Hmm well I listened to about 7 of your songs and I concluded I hate your style. No offense to you, your fans, or anything else. It's just my opinion. Good luck with everything.

word up!

Saw you at soundset a long while ago. You ruled.

as did you.

I can agree with being the start up artist for my rap listening adventure...Big fan, thanks for your time! What do you think of the people who don't look or act like any typical listener of your genre of music at your concerts?

i dont care what you look like. come check a show.

I wanna say firstly that I absolutely love your music, I have been a fan since labor days came out and your song save yourself is a masterpiece to me but I would like to know what it was like working with Kimya Dawson? The song walk like thunder had me to my knees. And will you two release some of those song?

when i met KD she was recording her album "Thunder Thighs" in Berkeley, CA with Jason Carmer. I was nervous, as i was a big fan. they were both really warm and welcoming. i had done a beat for a rap song for KD's album. at some point over the next few days we spoke for a long time about losing friends to cancer. she had her part on 'walk like thunder' written already (which touches on this subject matter), and she asked me if i wanted to be a part of the song. it was a tall order to say the least, and the song definitely didn't need me, but at the end of the day i was able to write some stuff about my dead friend in way i hadn't yet done at that point. That album is came out about a week ago. itunes, amazon, vinyl, cd, whatever. I worked on a handful of songs on the record in one form or fashion.

We also have a not-yet-named group together with the majority of an album recorded. this is discussed a bit elsewhere i think. should be done soon. i'd imagine out early next year.

What is your least favorite part about making music and being a musician? If you could do one thing to improve the music business, what would it be?

Thanks for doing an AMA!

hm. well firstly, i like my job. i don't take it for granted for one second, and i recognize that i am in a unique position. that said, there is all sorts of exhausting elements about this. there is a lot of 'putting yourself out there' that does not come naturally to me.

i dont know how to improve the business. yea. i dunno.

Have you memorized the lyrics to all of your songs? Does this take any kind of upkeep or practice?

i know the ones we're doing live, plus im sorta learning all this new stuff as i write and record it. before a major tour we will rehearse a lot. if we have a show and havent played in a month or so we'll rehearse a few times together, plus individually do whatever work we feel we need to. i definitely don't know all of them. there is a good number of songs i've never performed.


waiting for it

On that track "blacklist" or "put your quarters up", did you end up ever meeting MF DOOM or did you just lay a verse on the tracks without meeting him?

Ever thought of doing an album with Prefuse 73?

What is Mr. Lif up to?

Is your next album a sequel to Labor Days?

me and DOOM were not in the studio together for either of those, but we have met on multiple occasions over the years, played shows, etc. he has always been really nice to me, and i have a ton of respect for him and his music.

Prefuse is a great dude. i would work more with him any time.

Havent seen lif in a minute but just got an email from him last week - hope to get up soon.



hahaha. this is like code. i dont know who you mean, but i do have relatives in the NEPA area.

me and rob will wed.

I like heavy metal. I also like your songs. Thanks for opening up that door.

thank you very much.

Thank you for all your awesome rapping and production through the years. Tony introduced me to your shit on a message board in 98 and I've been exchanging money for your art ever since!

thanks. thanks tony!

Hey man. Thanks for doing this.

Just wanted to know how you feel about Rhymesayers as a label. Seems like Slug and company have put together a stellar group of artistes.

old friends. i dig em.

And all of a sudden, I can't think of a question. Damn. Just wanna say that I really love your work, Aesop. You are one of the artists that got me into Rap and Hip-Hop, and made me see there was more to the genre than the shit they play on the radio. And for that, I thank you. It's my favorite genre of music now.

Keep doing what you do man!

thanks very mucho.

I posted a comment about how I feel about your music already, but I just wanted to reiterate how important your music is to me. I have no questions, but I just want you to know that your music has protected me through some of the darkest times in my life. Your work is very important to me. ("Preservation" on the Wu indie album is so sick. Holy shit! Two of my favorite artists together wrecking shop. Y'all put it down on that one, I think.) Thank you so much man. Really, thank you. To your health, and the health of your family! raises a glass irl

thank you very much! really!

I have a deep and profound level of respect for you.

that is nice to say. thank you.


I'd like to tell you that your music was a major factor bridging the gap that had grown between me and my brother. Thanks. A lot.

wow. awesome. i have two brothers i couldn't live without. fuck yea!

what is an aesop rock?

it's a rare lithuanian bird related to the magpie.

I've never listened to any of your music but you sound like an awesome dude. What song of yours should I listen to first?

thank you! oh man i dunno. listen to "meter feeder". thats from my group's album from this year. i rap first.

Thanks for being a cool Guy after shows and talking with your fans. I'm sure that can be kinda of a pain in the ass.

i genuinely feel good thanking people for coming after the shows. there are times when for one reason or another i dont come out, but i'd say 95% of the time i make the effort. thank you.

Just wanted to say I love your music and I talked to you when you were at the Casbah last in San Diego. I wanted to talk to you more but didn't want to be a creepy fan. Keep on rocking.

thanks. you keep on rocking too.

Was finishing my music degree in 2006 when I first heard your stuff, my housemate was a hiphop nut and me an old crusty punk.

It was thanks to you that I stopped being such a dick about hiphop and decided to dive in and see what it was all about. So I got into Shabazz Palaces, Sage Francis, Doomtree, and all that good stuff. I listen to 'None Shall Pass' almost every day in my car. One of the tracks that sets me up for the day.

Will you head over to Europe anytime soon? You clearly have a huge UK following.

thanks very much. i'll get to europe next year. our tours always go sketchy as fuck over there, but we'll definitely come once the new records are coming out.

Hi aes, I only have one question and I hope you can answer it. What is your position on an artist changing their style? I understand that artists get criticized for not changing their style like grieves Together apart, but if they change it to model One of their more famous songs is it wrong?

i dont know what's right or wrong. people should do whatever feels good to them.

Dear AR:

Thank you so much for your work. Labor Days formed the soundtrack for a year I spent wandering the city, trying to figure out who I was and what I was going to do now that I was there. How does it feel to know your work impacts millions around the globe?

Also, what kind of burritos do you like?

i think millions is stretching it by millions, but i do thank you. to have impacted ANYONE with my music feels absolutely fucking fantastic. Really really really really good.

i enjoy a carne asada burrito with everything.

Your an amazing artist Aesop.

When your writing how much of it do you pull from life experience and how much do you just pull out of the air?

thank you so much.

It comes from everywhere, but i think it's all based on life experience on some level. And in the spirit of reddit, it's "you're".

You are my favorite artist in the game right now. Thanks for showing interest in Reddit.

*Do you frequent this site?

*Also when will i be expecting the new Hail Mary Mallon album? I need more of this stuff.

i read this site a lot.

next hmm record not for awhile, a few projects in line before that.

No questions. Been a fan for years. Big ups.


Do all of your lyrics have some deep hidden symbolic meaning that goes over my head, or is it just jibberish that sounds good.

like this: sign of the time we elapse when a primate climb up a spine and attach eye for an eye by the bog like swamps and vines they get a rise out of frogs and flies so when a dog-fight's hog-tied prize sorta costs a life their mouths water on a fork and knife

jibberish y/n?

not jibberish to me. it's "bog life".

What was Ricky Kasso like?

he was older than me i didnt know him.

Damn I am a huge fan! That's all I really have to say but I have been listening ever since Labour Days. Keep up the amazing work and thanks for the AMA.

thank you much!

Any plans of you and Kimya doing a Bindi Irwin cover album after how much you loved it while over here in Australia? :>

i have been a fan of the bindi irwin ep since well before my most recent trip to australia, and in fact NObody in our audiences even knew she had a record out. luckily we schooled them, and she will finally go platinum in her homeland, and it will be because of me and my friends.

you will not see this, but your music is amazing.

Long time fan. keep it up man.

i saw it. thank you very much.

How is working with Slug from Atmosphere?

It. Is. Hell. No it's great, he's a great guy.

Dear Aesop, I know many other people are saying this but I feel I am obligated to as well. You are awesome. I love your music. I love your creativeness. It's cool that you decided to do this. You probably won't read this, but I still feel I should show my appreciation.

thanks for saying this.

Two questions: do you have a date set for the collab with Kimya?

Also, since Def Jux is no longer, do you know what record label the Kimya collab is going to be released under, as well as any future solo records of your own?

Ps: thanks for being my favorite MC. Your show with Rob, Big Whiz & Kimya in May at the Triple Rock in MPLS was the dopest I've been to all year.

thanks so much. no dates or labels yet. sorry i wish i had more info.


i love you too like a lot

Can you explain how you sent 4ntonio4guilar to the backyardigans three months ago?

i legitimately love the song. i send people there a lot. it's on our pre-show playlist, along with bindi irwin's "trouble in the jungle". both available on itunes!

I have grown up with your work. In fact, 'Daylight' just came onto my computer playlist. My question is, have you ever considered doing a collaboration with Busdriver or RJD2? Keep up the awesome!

i have done both! so yes!

I can't tell how smart you are. Lyrically you're incredibly impressive, but I can't quite figure out if it transfers over to you actually being intellectual and/or book smart. Spill it...are you smart of just sound smart?

i'm not very smart. definitely not book smart. i dont think my lyrics are smart, i just talk slick, or try.

Hey Aesop! I drove a couple hours to see you in Orlando a few years back and it was awesome! I hung out with you and Blockhead while you signed autographs, and I think photo is an accurate representation of our individual feelings towards this experience. Anyways keep being awesome!

fuck yeah!

My friends' birthday is coming up, on November 9th she turns 30. She's a big fan, has all your tunes, followed you since way way back and it would score me some major brownie points to have you send a nice birthday card, or some well wishes her way on her special day. Mind helping me out?

I don't know how long I've had "None shall pass", as my ringtone, thanks for your art man.

thanks so much. i cant even remember to mail my bills in. if there is some sort of private messaging system on reddit send me her email with "code birthday" in the subject line.

I have never heard of you. Without me having to go to Wikipedia, please tell me about yourself.

I can see through any wall that is rock, concrete, or other stone-like material. once metals are introduced things begin to blur.

What has been your primary way of mitigating the fact you are a white rapper in a paradigmatically black industry? Eminem navigated the terrain by appealing to sense of credibility. He rapped about how he came from the streets and earned his reputation. People were able to see past his whiteness because they viewed his rap as legitimate because of his general focus. Previous white rappers like Vanilla Ice failed to succeed as a white rapper because his method of gaining an audience was through falsehoods and posing as a guy from the street when in fact he appropriated and exploited his style. Where do you fit in on this continuum?

i love you man

i dont think about any of that shit. i love you too.

I know I'm going to get downvoted to hell, but who are you?

i arrived from Cuba in a small raft many years ago. i was in the news for a bit, but have laid low since.

Hey man, do you like dinosaurs?

i do

How do you enjoy San Francisco?

i love this town. kinda expensive, but good energy. i dig.

Why are you so fucking awesome?

you are awesome


Love your music by the way

theoretically, yes

I enjoy passing around pineapples aswell. Do you believe in aliens ?

aliens... yeah sure i guess.

Hey, I don't really have a question, just wanted to say that a friend of mine turned me on to your stuff a few years ago. I didn't really like hip hop at the time, but after a few listens-through I was hooked. It was definitely a gateway for me. The friend who recommended you to me passed away last year, and now your music reminds me of the good times with him. Thank you for everything you've created, man, you're amazing.

thank you. awesome.

How come everything after labor days sucked?

i fell off directly after labor days and have not been able to recover. my bad.

Wow man. If you get all the way down to me.. thanks for everything man. You're like a god to me..

thank you very much

Have you ever participated in Slam Poetry? It's very powerful stuff, and you have the style for it. Heck, many of your songs seem like Slam Poetry anyway...

i never really have. i do occasionally perform a verse acapella at a show, but i have never officially participated in a slam poetry event.

I really love your work!

How did you guys (Hail Mary Mallon) come up with the name for Table Talk? That's my latest pump up song.

Rob named that one. Just came up in the bevy of food references.

I loved your Bonnaroo 2007 late night show before El-P. Have the fine people of Bonnaroo asked you to come back anytime soon?

thanks so much. they havent but i dont know that i have pursued it either. i'll probably hit some festivals in 2012 when i have a new solo record to push. you sorta have your booking agent submit you for those types of events if the timing is right for all parties.

Have you ever thought of making a book out of all your lyrics, because I'm sure many would buy it.

answered elsewhere

Holy jesus fuck dude you're like my favourite artist. big ups holy fuck.

I'm an audio engineer, wanna get me some work? <3

how hard was it to "get somewhere" with your career? ellaborate on some of the process if you don't mind :D

i'm still just kinda figuring it out as i go. you never really feel like you got anywhere til someone else points it out. like now.

I posted you on /r/ladyboners.

weird i posted you on /r/eagleboners

I really hate to be another one of "those guys" but I only came here to tell you as personally as I'll probably ever be able to, that I love your music, your story, everything about what you do. Your music influenced me alot and helped me through some hard times. Im a huge fan. Thank you.

i appreciate it a lot.

I'm a good fan, man. Saw you in Milwaukee, August 2007 before I shipped off to Stevens Points, Wisconsin. I couldn't even stand for most of your show because I had undiagnosed diabetic ketoacidosis. Was an awesome show regardless and I'm super pumped I made it before I went off to college.

Keep up the great work and keep putting your heart into it. Your lyrical style and quality are rare in most of today's music.

I don't really have any serious questions to ask you, because I feel like most of everything will be asked/delivered upon in this thread already. I was just wondering if there were any copies of the poster for the None Shall Pass tour done by Jeremy Fish. I moved out of my parents house soon after and my stepdad through my poster away.

Anyway, thanks a ton for your music and keep up the great work, you're an awesome dude and a great man. Never forget that.

i love that damn poster. i dont think i have any. im sorry. thanks so much for the kind words.

Do you have any songs you feel were really misinterpreted, or that didn't get the reaction you thought they would from your fans?


i m happy to get any reaction. the songs could never mean to anyone else what they mean to me anyway.

I just want to say I saw you with Murs and Atmosphere at Red Rocks. One of the best shows I've been to. Thanks for being awesome.

oh thanks. that's a scary place to play holy crap.

Hey Aesop, thanks for the music! I remember a friend introducing me to you early on in high school at a party we were having. I was completely captivated, literally just ignored everybody and had my ear attached to the boombox all night. So much great material. I'm really happy I got to come up listening to you and others that I sought out and wasn't just fed on tv/radio.

high five. thanks.

If you attended Hogwarts, which house would you be in and why?

Obviously that is not for me to choose, but i would hope for Griffendor or Hufflepuff.

I would just like to say that i really love your work man, keep it up!

thanks you!


yea. i still had a job all through float and never really went on tour or anything to promote that album. i had written labor days and it was scheduled to come out in sept of 2001. i decided i would quit my job, attempt my first tour, and give myself a year to see if i was dead in a gutter or not. i quit my job and then freaked out a bit and cancelled on the entire tour (it went on without me). Over the next year i kinda eased back into the idea of touring and voila.

I want to say that I listened to "Labor Days" while I was in High School and then listened extensively to "Float" (6B Panorama was one of my favorite tracks).

Will you be doing any more tours in the Bay area? If so, how does one get updated on this information?

yup. my website's easy to find.

Dear Aesop Rock,

I just discovered you.

-New fan

fuck yeah

thanks for doing this! big fan. bought labor days on a whim after reading an article in URB magazine and hearing some buffered realaudio clips over at sandbox. 2000 or 2001? i can't remember. seen you in new orleans and nashville throughout the years. keep doing your thing.

you've been on reddit for a minute, it seems. anything interesting that gets you gravitating back over to the distraction that is reddit lately?

i find that i can read about news and actually stomach politics a little bit when it's presented in the way reddit presents things. the AMA's were the original thing that brought me here a long time ago.

That's rad that you're doing an AMA.

My only question. How are you liking Uncharted 3?

super good. put a couple hours in tonite!

I have no idea who you are, but to be polite, I'll ask a question: Have you ever farted during sex?


Not a question, just a thank you. You opened my eyes to a genre of music that I previously dismissed and I am better for it.

thank YOU!


c'mon now.

I don't know who you are!

i have won the south dakota regional and u.s. national wild turkey call championships 4 years on end. i will be defending my titles once again in the regionals and nationals this december.

why did you hate living in northport?

i didnt

What was it like working with Evidence on Cats & Dogs? Nice verse btw!

i met evidence at soundset the first year and got to speak to him a bit then. i really liked the beat they sent me, and was psyched to be a part of his record. i just tried to do my part.

How were you first introduced to Kimya's music?

What's your favorite place to eat in SF?

Does the stuffed cat have a name?

i used to hear moldy peaches songs around and then just kinda followed what she did after.


if youre referring to the picture at the top, it is a wizard.


1- i dont know 2- yes 3 - ok

Are you ashamed at all about how shitty your "music" is?


This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Aesop Rock conducted on Reddit on 2011-11-06. The Reddit AMA can be found here.