(born Ian Matthias Bavitz) is an emcee and producer from Northport, Long Island, who currently resides in Portland, Oregon and calls Rhymesayers Entertainment his home. Originally studying art in college, Aesop gravitated towards pursuing rap music as more than just a hobby, following meeting future collaborator, Blockhead
, while attending Boston University. When graduating in 1998, he had already recorded several projects, including 1997's Music for Earthworms
, helping lead him to securing his first record deal in 1999 with Mush. Shortly after the release of his first major album, Float
(2000)—which featured Slug, Vast Aire
and Dose One, as well as production split by himself and Blockhead—he gained the attention of Def Jux, signing to the label and releasing Labor Days
a year later (2001).
Following the success of these early projects—with Labor Days
becoming the first to appear on the Billboard Independent Charts (peaking at 15) and his track "Labor" being featured in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
—Aesop began building a name for himself. His recognition grew steadily with each release. As he added to his discography in the early aughts, Aesop found himself being commissioned to create a 45-minute instrumental track for the Nike+iPod running program. He then collaborated with artist Jeremy Fish, with Fish creating album artwork for Aesop's fifth full-length, 2007's None Shall Pass
and Aesop crafting a song, "Tomorrow Morning" to partner with Fish's gallery Show
in San Francisco.
After a four-year hiatus, Aesop went on to create a joint album with anti-folk singer, Kimya Dawson, and make his Rhymesayers debut as a solo artist in 2012, with the release of Skelethon.
With the release of his seventh studio album, The Impossible Kid
, in 2016, many fans have held Aesop Rock
in high regard as an artist who is not only getting better with age, but also consistently reinventing his sound and fostering his creativity.