The Def Jux label’s most cunning linguist, Aesop Rock presents a long-overdue showcase of the verbal gymnastics that made his None Shall Pass album an underground smash, with Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz and the Trackdirtyaz on the Sound Academy bill Friday (January 11), 9 pm, to keep heads nodding. $20. 416-870-8000.
Have you found a use for that Boston University bachelor of fine arts?
After graduation I got a job at an art gallery, packing and shipping boxes in the back room. That’s as close as I ever got to any real art work.
What’s all this so-called “controversy” about you relocating to San Francisco from New York? Is there some East Coast vs. West Coast backpack beef between you and the Bay Area dudes at Quanuum over turf?
I read that article about how controversial my move to San Francisco was. What controversy? I just fuckin’ bounced. I thought there was going to be much more controversy than there was. It was a relief to get out of my regular routine for a while.
Since you’re married to T.O.-bred former Teen Crud Combo guitarist Allyson Baker, have you considered moving to Toronto?
Yes, actually, we have. Allyson’s from Toronto, and I’ve always liked the city – it’s got a lively arts scene, and I’ve had a great time there whenever I’ve been through on tour. It’s also close to New York, which makes it very appealing. I still love New York, but the thought of moving into a shoebox apartment that’s half the size of where we’re living now doesn’t excite me.
What’s the problem with hiphop today?
I hate to be that guy who goes on about how terrible hiphop is, but the number of artists doing exactly the same thing is insane. There’s no effort being put into creating something new. The only difference is that some rappers are slightly better at delivering it than others.
Any ideas how to improve the situation?
Right now the subject matter in hiphop is all me, me, me, me, me, me, me. I’m not interested in hearing yet another rapper tell me why he’s the best. Why not tell a story set in a specific time and place? Create some characters, add a little bit of action and you’re good to go. Even if you veer off course just slightly, it’ll sound very different from everything else that’s being done.