Indie-rap mainstay Aesop Rock has announced a new album, The Impossible Kid, is dropping April 29 on Rhymesayers Entertainment, marking his first solo venture since 2012’s Skelethon. On the new album Aesop continues finding new ways to improve on the skills that have made him one of the kings of indie hip-hop. His new creative process includes a newfound willingness to open up about his personal life, going deep on topics like depression, his sometimes rocky relationship with his family, and the turbulent handful of years following a friend’s death that culminated in Aesop leaving his adopted home of San Francisco to live in a barn out in the woods, where he recorded the foundations of The Impossible Kid. There are also moments of levity, as Aesop taps into the funny side of his persona that he suppressed during the period where being taken as a serious lyricist was more of a priority. Like Skelethon, Aesop exercised complete creative control over every aspect of the album, from the production (which he handled himself, with instrumental help from Philly’s Grimace Federation) to conceptualizing the cover art by his friend Alex Pardee.
Though it’s been four years since his last solo album, Aesop has maintained an impressive creative streak, releasing collaborative albums with Kimya Dawson (The Uncluded‘s Hokey Frightin2013), with Rob Sonic (Hail Mary Mallon‘s Bestiary in 2014), and with Homeboy Sandman (LICE‘s self-titled EP in 2015). He’s also been actively crafting beats. Recent projects include producing the 32+ minute instrumental mix, The Blob, working together with Nike to provide the music for a series of their skateboarding videos, and producing the soundtrack for the upcoming film Bushwick, starring Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow. He’s also started skateboarding and drawing again, which were his big passions before his hobby of making rap songs turned into a paying gig that evolved into an accidental, 20-year long career, taking him from making beats in his bedroom to playing for crowds thousands deep. Going back to his roots has proven useful in processing everything that’s happened in his life over the past couple decades, and maybe to figure out the person he’s become: The Impossible Kid, a person who’s spent his life doing things that seemed unthinkable before he just went and did them, blazing a visionary trail all his own. Two decades in, he’s still out there pushing it forward.