Aesop Rock – Rogue Wave

5 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: Aesop Rock

A spew of the we’re-spoiled-by-it usual A.Rock lyrical wizardry, coasting the line between his sillier and more sniping attacks – observational, commentative, cool as all get-out.

Accepting that I’m horrible at lyrical analysis, especially when the writers are ten million times smarter than me (yes, that’d be Aesop) taking the title of Rogue Wave as its definition – sudden, dangerous waves – and combined with the song’s chunk of references, Rock seems to be hopping back and forth between sneering at bandwagons, and nodding to them, and then wanting to fuck off and do his own thing – his own rogue wave. The music’s bouncy bass mirrors this feeling, and Rock’s alternatingly caustic and laid back delivery style echoes the same. It reads partially like a boast track, dropping name after name, but then flips the script a sentence later; a brilliant ability that Aesop brings to many of his tracks, and here feels very cyclical – talking about A Thing, then talking about talking about A Thing, and wondering what the heck that’s all about when there’s another Thing waiting to be talked about.

Of course, I’m surely over-reading this, but regardless, the beat, and flow, are perfect, and the lack of chorus, instead of making the track over-stuffed, instead means it never tires, and goes on for the just the right amount of time to make a statement and then depart.

B-side is the instrumental, and the ear-worm funkiness of the beat is one thing, but the stops and starts and little wiggles of nuance added are another, making it a song that works equally as well without lyrics.