Malibu Ken/ Aesop Rock/ Tobacco - Malibu Ken

Regular price $ 22.99

Aesop Rock first teamed up with Tobacco in 2008, when he rapped on "Dirt," a track on the Black Moth Super Rainbow leader's first solo album. It took the duo a decade to follow up on that collaboration, with two singles under the name Malibu Ken appearing in late 2018 and a self-titled full-length emerging in early 2019. The cover art depicts the mutated face of Barbie's beau, and the music itself is a similarly grotesque take on American culture. Aesop typically delivers quick-witted, surrealist lyrics, which manage to go down smoothly thanks to Tobacco's vocodered choruses and twitchy synth-funk accompaniment. Tobacco's music often seems disturbed and damaged yet somehow cool and carefree, and his style is so compatible with Aesop's that it's hard to imagine him working with any other rapper. While Aesop has been credited for his astoundingly large vocabulary and acute technical abilities, his rhymes here aren't as challenging or verbose as they've been in the past. They're also not as introspective or autobiographical as on some of his later albums. They're strange and articulate but not excessively hard to grasp. He begins the album by introducing himself as the bat child from Weekly World News, and starts off the following track by mentioning a mushroom growing inside his car yet not being alarmed about it. "Sword Box" likens rappers to magicians and con artists, and "Acid King" discusses Satanic cults over menacing synthwave. "Churro" weaves a fascinating scientific tale with its verses, although it's somewhat marred by its shrugging chorus. Tobacco's production throughout the album isn't quite as lo-fi or dirty-sounding as his solo work, and his presence is clearly felt, but he doesn't overpower Aesop. The two are a fitting match for each other, and their collaboration works as well as fans would expect.

1 Corn Maze 3:22
2 Tuesday 3:29
3 Save Our Ship 3:28
4 Sword Box 4:01
5 Dog Years 3:04
6 Acid King 3:32
7 Suicide Big Gulp 3:29
8 1+1=13 3:45
9 Churro 2:27
10 Purple Moss 3:51