Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Aesop Rock: Daylight EP [Def Jux EP, 2001]
Less experimental beatwise than his boys, less literate bookwise than his rep, but, like his namesake, fabulously wise: "When I was 16 I was taping Bobbito and trying to find out who was newest and was trying to be the dopest, now I don't care if I'm the dopest." I don't know much about dope, I just know what I like: his beats, which average out to deep organ funk; his rhymes, which half-parse no matter how twisted; and his class consciousness--unlike "Bulletproof Wallets," his "Nickel Plated Pockets" are stuffed (they wish) with spare change. Title track gave us the great verse on Labor Days: "Life's not a bitch, life is a beautiful woman/You only call her a bitch because she won't let you get that pussy/Maybe she just didn't feel y'all shared similar interests/Maybe you're just an asshole who couldn't sweet-talk a princess." Second track makes her a biyutch and concludes: "Maybe you're just an asshole, and maybe I'm just an asshole." He isn't. He's dope. A-