If you came of rap age in the (very) late ’90s and early ’00s like I did, it should be no surprise how fast this new video for “Zero Dark Thirty” from indie rap veteran Aesop Rock will remind you of hazy dorm rooms, warm 40s and misguided and ill-informed conversations with white girls with dreads about the important differences between rap and hip-hop. But it actually is kind of surprising, and now embarrassing, and I thought I got rid of all those memories. Anyway, if you’re just joining us, this is not A$AP Rocky — the confusion is apparently just a coincidence (though it’s a little hard to believe that with how internet savvy the A$AP mob are).
Watch Aesop Rock’s “Zero Dark Thirty” after the jump.
I don’t really know what “Zero Dark Thirty” is about — it’s the same name as the upcoming film from best director Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow, but that’s about the Navy Seals who killed Bin Laden, and I don’t think Aesop Rock really cares about that. “Zero Dark Thirty” is also military speak for half past midnight (F yeah, Yahoo! answers), so that’s probably closer to what’s going on. (Who the hell knows what an Aesop Rock song is about most of the time anyway?)
Sonically, it’s solid! And 35-year-old Aesop Rock, the rapper hasn’t lost a step, and Aesop Rock, the producer has only improved with age. He’s also not looking much older for having 10-plus years in the game, though he has gone full-on East Williamsburg and let his beard do whatever the eff it feels like. While Aesop isn’t really known for going overboard with his videos, he always keeps them artistic, and “Zero Dark Thirty” follows on the same path. Here we have Aesop sitting on the floor and rapping against a wall while a mural is painted (and repainted — at times looking like the painting in The Pharcyde’s “Drop”) in superfast time-lapse around him. It’s simple but executed well and is a pretty cool effect despite not being a million dollar “Star Wars” hologram brewed in the bionic depths of Skywalker Ranch.
Aesop Rock’s first first full length album in five years, Skelethon, drops July 10 on Rhymesayers Ent.