The Impossible Kid Album Review

“Aesop Rock is the best lyricist in hip hop.” While some would view this as a simple over-generalization, others would see it as a provable fact.

In 2013, Matt Daniels from published a study called “Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop” where popular rappers were broken down by how many unique words they used in their songs. Aesop Rock took first place, putting a power gap of several thousand words between him and GZA. While Aesop Rock has always been known for his intense variation in lyricism and wicked flow, he hasn’t been much of a producer or beat maker. He also was never one to fall victim to trendy Hip Hop sounds, pushing him farther and farther into rap obscurity. That is, until his 2016 album The Impossible Kid.

The Impossible Kid isn’t that much different from his earlier works. His lyricism is occasionally near indecipherable without a thesaurus on hand. His complex wordplay is something to marvel at, but that’s not the only thing The Impossible Kid has going for it. First of all, Aesop ditches his east-coast style boom-bap production for a more electronic sound. Even though this is his modern-sounding album, it is his most unique and outside of modern Hip Hop trendiness. While the most successful rap albums of 2015/2016 have mostly been those with a trap-influenced sound, this one stays outside of that scope. Allegedly, Aesop Rock shut himself away in a barn for a few years working on this album. Honestly, for how distant this sounds from any rap album coming out today, this isn’t a very unlikely story.
While Aesop is miles ahead of his contemporaries lyrically and in terms of production, his song writing is also on point. Song subjects range from being a nerdy elementary kid in the presence of popular kids, to reminiscing stories of his brothers from his childhood, to stories about watching his cat do funny stuff. Aesop Rock could take any subject and write a creative rhyme about it.