written by Andrew Lunny
On the back of his two minor, but notary, underground releases (‘Music For Earthworms’ and ‘Appleseed’), New York’s finest abstract MC Aesop Rock has finally dropped his full length debut. Marking a dramatic departure from ‘Appleseed’s tight package of eight near flawless songs, ‘Float’ comes twenty tracks deep with a plethora of clever instrumentals and cunning linguistics. With a booming baritone, a flow that knows no fear and a generous collection of alternative quotables, Aesop is the type of MC who could probably produce a classic, paradigm-shifting album. Keeping this in mind, it’s perhaps a bit disappointing that ‘Float’ is merely a great record, not a tremendous one. Nonetheless, any listeners of innovative hip-hop will be highly impressed by ‘Float.’
Unlike most rappers pigeon-holed as “innovative” or “progressive,” Aesop has a strong voice closer to Rock from Heltah Skeltah or Xzibit than Morrissey. No complaints about breath control or flow could be aimed at the exemplary vocalist, who combines this talent with lyrics that’ll have you reaching for the notepad as much as the rewind button. It would be wrong to call a burst of inspiration like “I’m running with these fantastic amalgams / Painting casket boundaries to peers gunning with plastic albums,” exceptional for Aesop Rock, since that’s the quality of every line he spits. All of these great liners are tightly integrated into real songs with real concepts, such as ‘Commencement At The Obedience Academy,’ the source of the quote above, which uses a variety of creative metaphors to outline Aesop’s struggle for individuality and ‘6B Panorama,’ a literal observation of the New York streets in front of our talented narrator.