"Jittery, Zeitgeist, wither by the watering hole" is not from a Shakespeare sonnet but rather the second line from an Aesop Rock song. As you could guess from that one snippet, the New York-raised, San Francisco-residing Aesop Rock spent some time with a thesaurus.
The rapper made his name in the underground hip-hop world as the MC who could spit out the most unpredictable verses. Whether the subject matter is serious, like dealing with anxieties or the death of a friend, or just plain silly, like in "Homemade Mummy," which explains the embalming process, he takes you on a clever, lyrical journey.
His creativity as a writer and producer has landed him work with unpredictable partners. In 2013, he put out the album Hokey Fright with ex-Moldy Peaches member Kimya Dawson (who also knows her way around words).
Most interesting, and as proof he's something special, Aesop Rock was proclaimed by a scientific study to have the most diverse vocabulary of any rapper in the world. Data scientist Matt Daniels pored through the lyrics of 85 rappers and found that Aesop Rock used more unique words than any other MC (GZA was number two, Kool Keith was number three, and DMX was last).
If that doesn't impress, also know that Aesop Rock used more unique words than were found in Herman Melville's Moby Dick or even Billy Shakespeare himself.
Critics at times have slammed Aesop Rock for spouting out gibberish. And on songs like "Zero Dark Thirty," lyrics like "Evoke lunch jumped over plunging necklines/Up, beside tongue-tied hungry enzymes," he gives them ammunition. It's worth a second, third, and 24th listen to wade through Aesop Rock's arcane pop-culture references surrounded by five-dollar words.
Recently, he released Bestiary with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz, who will be onstage with him Friday night at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. It's a night that promises danceable beats, great humor, and rhymes few others can provide. Just make sure to bring your dictionary.
If you want free tickets to the show, leave a comment below and some way we can get in touch with you before Wednesday, March 4, 5 p.m.
Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic and Homeboy Sandman. 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 the day of the show, plus fees. Call 954-727-0964, or visit jointherevolution.net.