Aesop Rock, 'None Shall Pass' (Def Jux)

7
None Shall Pass
Critical Mass
Label: De fJux

by Thomas Golianopoulos

Aesop Rock has a voice unlike any other in music, a hyper drawl that can swallow entire words whole or make sure every letter in unctuous is clearly enunciated. Paired with the Long Island rapper's abstract, self-aware lyrics, it makes None Shall Pass a challenging, rewarding head trip. "Fumes" and "39 Thieves" are classic Def Jux (i.e., creepy and paranoid); "Getaway Car" is a fun, rocking posse cut; and "Bring Back Pluto" addresses that old hip-hop staple, hateration: "Every Dumpster diver's gotta vomit up a comment like, 'You ain't shit,' 'This ain't ill.'" Actually, it is.

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