Aesop Rock album takes hip-hop to new level with sporadic style

Aesop Rock’s newest EP, “Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives,” is seven songs of genius, and is just a reflection of why he is one of the most respected emcees in the hip-hop scene today.

Aesop, now a heavyweight of the Definitive Jux label, first raised eyebrows with his full-length debut “Labor Days” with his dense lyrics and sporadic style. The album went from a cult classic to a raging success in several months.

“Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives” harbors all the elements that make Aesop’s popularity deserved. He tackles just about every issue that one album could handle, and he does it with style. “Holy Smokes” deals with his perspective on religion while “Food, Clothes and Medicine” tells random stories of soldiery and violence with lines like, “Suit the hellhounds with blades and chain link/For the dead walk a little less clumsy than you think.”

“Rickety Rackety,” the sixth track on the album, features guests Camutao and El-P passing the mic so fast that Aesop sounds out of breath on certain lines. While it’s not a traditional Aesop offering, it’s one of the catchiest.

As with every Aesop Rock album, “Fast Cars” takes a number of listens to fully absorb. All seven songs deliver an onslaught of abstract thought, witty analogies and obscure references that will either leave listeners scratching their heads or grinning ear to ear. “Fast Cars” is a must-have for those who dig hip-hop that flexes intelligence instead of muscle.