Aesop Rock Quotes

  • I avoided the computer generation for a very long time.

  • People's opinions outside of my direct group of friends means next to nothing.

  • I want to stay learning and hopefully allow my craft to evolve.

  • I think if the desire to improve what I do starts to plateau then what's the point.

  • I don't really engage much in the creative community. I just kind of keep to myself and do my work.

  • I think I learned very quickly after I started putting out music... you just learn that people are going to take what they want and make it fit their agenda or make it fit their interpretation. And you make peace with that or you suffer forever.

  • I don't see any of my records as any more or less conceptual than the others, and I don't really plan some overall idea in advance. The songs all get written under the umbrella of a certain time in your life, and it's natural to find themes that repeat within these periods.

  • I am a failed visual artist.

  • I think in your 30s you can still pretend you're in your 20s, or at least maintain some semblance of youth. Forty is when you've got to stop denying the inevitable.

  • If a song or group hits you at the right time in your life, it's everything. It's bigger than school or family or anything else.

  • The only way I'm comfortable with a new album is if I'm taking a new risk.

  • I'm not a celebrity or anything.

  • You think of, like, Justin Timberlake. He does a three-hour performance every night, and it's like, wow, I don't know how that guy does it.

  • It's a strange position to be in. Not only the fact that I'm trying to live off work that is personal, but how you get the money for that is racing around the country and smiling for people and selling the record, you know what I mean?

  • I am hoping to improve my writing and rapping, as well as get a better grasp on how to make beats and music that complements what I do vocally. It's a learning process that hopefully won't end.

  • I don't like being away from home for a long period of time.

  • I would love for my existence as an artist to be completely about my art - not about my social media, or what I do vs what's cool right now, or even whether or not I sound okay in an interview.

  • My brother came home from college with a Mountain Goats cassette and I was like, 'What is this?' The lyrics were crazy to me. I'd never heard anything like it.

  • Mark my words, even if I sell out a club of 15,000 with all girls, I'm not taking my shirt off. I'm sorry. I know y'all are waiting to see the pasty stomach and everything.

  • I'm not interested in hearing yet another rapper tell me why he's the best. Why not tell a story set in a specific time and place? Create some characters, add a little bit of action and you're good to go.

  • Having some decent musicians around you only expands what you can do production-wise, but I make rap - I can't really see myself doing much else.

  • You have to write about what's inside you. If I have to get something out, I'll do it.

  • I like to make stuff and I try to stay busy.

  • Musicians are all about celebrity first and foremost, and I just can't do it. The second any sort of popularity contest comes into the picture, I have to walk in the other direction. These people are sociopaths.

  • I would say the best toy for any cat is always some sort of dangling item on a string or fishing-rod-type structure.

  • My collaborative albums are always way more enjoyable to make.

  • Most artists - painters or writers - I think create out of stress or negative situations. Look at rock music. It's about getting things off of your chest, and it's a means of venting in many ways. That's what my work is about.

  • New York can be a tad stressful.

  • Honestly, I don't feel pressure to live up to anything I've done because I tend to not listen to my work once a year passes.

  • Doing something like 'Bushwick,' a lot of people need to agree that the piece is working with what's going on on the screen. So it's a lot of tweaks and re-works, just kinda moving pieces around and getting things to hit right.

  • I like to just hear people talking and TV is a quick way to hear different periods and genres. It's just interesting to me. I'm pretty easily amused with that kind of stuff.

  • When you're younger, you really care who your fans are.

  • I've always recorded at home. That's been part of what it's about to me. I've never been the kind of guy who rents a studio.

  • I had written rap songs in the early '90s and even did a couple homemade rap songs with my brother in like '88 or '89, but it was just like... I don't even know how to say it. Just plain rap. I was just rapping about whatever, there was no real style or direction, it was just semi-braggadocious rhymes that probably imitated 100 other rappers.

  • Performing is fine.

  • To me, it seems more realistic to my thought process when things feel a little scattered in the lyrics. Being disjointed is not that abstract of a thing when I think about how my brain works - I feel like it's almost more realistic. That's how my brain works.

  • The neighbors prefer I don't do vocals at night. It gets a little iffy when I'm screaming.

  • When I record in a studio. I know that on Tuesday at 3 o'clock I've got to go be creative.

  • Artwork, films, TV - it's always informed my work, no matter what I'm working on.

  • Rap music started because they were bored of other music so they created something really new.

  • We're all just cats trying to be original, which is what I think being a B-boy is about.

  • I'd love it if one of my songs became a hit.

  • I don't want to hit a point where I feel there is nothing to improve upon - there always is.

  • I guess, for me, the idea of finding an identity through creative means has always been a way to deal with otherwise feeling awkward and uncomfortable out in the world.

  • I went to college, got a job. Not a good job or anything but I was fully set to be an office employee for my life.

  • I love 'Black Mirror.'

  • I used to do a lot of one-off collabs, features, stuff like that.

  • I know a lot of people who make records, and when you meet them, it's not their personality or they're not what you're expecting. But El-P is exactly what you'd expect.

  • My brothers each reacted differently to 'Blood Sandwich.' It's a very specific type of odd feeling when there's a song written about you. People react to it differently.

  • Really, my biggest risk was just the initial step to quit my day job to do music. I was packaging and shipping for an art gallery in Manhattan; I went to school for painting, so I always wanted to work around artwork, even though I wasn't really contributing anything to the scene.

  • Pardon me if this all sounds corny, but when you put on a record, I'd like it to be an escape from everything you do.

  • I have been inspired by countless artists over the years, but there's also times when you just gotta make your own inspiration.

  • I like feeling warm inside a small home, knowing there's a set of glowing eyes out in the woods somewhere. It's just a vibe I enjoy writing about, and it deals simultaneously with safety and danger.

  • I really like 'Game of Thrones.

  • Sometimes comfort zones are the best. Sometimes discomfort is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Every record I do does a little better than the last, which in turn makes me more stressed out.

  • I just think I want my work to represent me fully.

  • The people I feel inspired around draw pictures, they make paintings.

  • I just try to reflect the grittiness in New York. I try to protect the grit and the dirt that comes with it, which is a good thing.

  • I never really planned on being a rapper, I just kinda did it and then people started liking it.

  • I don't claim to be a composer, and I realize my approach is pretty dopey in comparison to the true masters of score work. That said, if someone thinks what I do specifically would work for their film, then, of course, let's see what we can do.

  • People can label me whatever they like. I don't really care any more.

  • I believe giving pets 'people food,' while tempting, is generally frowned upon. As a pet owner you want to prioritize your animal's health over the entertainment value in watching your little guy bat around a small piece of chicken.

  • Ultimately, I really like to rap, and seeing what I can do to keep it fresh for myself has lent itself to tailoring over time.

  • I love a cool cellphone as much as the next guy, but, god, I hate when it rings.

  • To be honest, I think Chris Ware is the only person whose books I've actively and consistently purchased for years.

  • I always find my emotions all over the map, not so much a single thing overriding the rest.

  • I don't want to be the next face of America.

  • Rap lyrics are really the only thing I've ever written.

  • People don't stress enough that when they're writing lyrics, they are writing.

  • I've been writing for a long time.

  • I had been using a 4-track and a digital 8-track in the '90s, and it was this huge complicated thing. But GarageBand is right there.

  • Drawing and visual arts was kinda my first passion going all the way back to when I was a kid. I always felt like it was what I was supposed to do - but in reality I don't know that I ever had the skill to make it a profession.

  • I was a Kimya fan for a long time, a Moldy Peaches fan, so I got to work on her 'Thunder Thighs' record a little bit and we became friends and just started writing songs.

  • When I do solo material I definitely tend to overthink it. I make a lot of rules for myself that are a little bit arbitrary and... it's just painful.

  • Finding something new that I know I've never done before is the best feeling I know, and when I get there it's all worth it.

  • I've been able to tour because of my music and I've learned a lot about myself while on the road. I think some of the imagery of my writing are snapshots of where I've been and my feelings about the world.

  • I think I'm always surprised at how much the musicians I meet put weight on things that aren't music.

  • It's really rare in life that a situation is as black and white as we tend to paint it.

  • Inserting my personal brand of humor is something I have at times had trouble doing - but I feel like I've been learning about it a little more, how to do it, and how it helps my songs.

  • I love the playfulness and braggadocio that accompanies a ton of rap music - that's basically what makes up the foundation for most rappers. But there is nothing 'weirder' to me than someone who has never doubted themselves.

  • I always keep my phone on vibrate. Ringtones give me anxiety.

  • I've performed in Japan before, as well as many other non-English speaking countries. I find you really just have to be a bit more animated than usual. Call-and-response routines work well, if they are simple. Otherwise, I just dance around like a circus monkey and hope the crowd feels it.

  • People will put me in whatever box they feel the most comfortable having me in, and nothing I can do will change that.

  • I've traveled a lot, I've rapped a lot. I like to think that's all in the toolbox to be tapped into when I need it.

  • I just write notes all day on my phone, and when I write songs it becomes a patchwork of these smaller notes that I had, mixed with stuff in the moment.

  • I'm never really comfortable; I think it's kind of natural to feel uncomfortable, and I think if people say they are comfortable, they're just lying.

  • I guess all that I can hope for is that my songs affect the younger versions of me out there.

  • I remember thinking that 'Earthworms' wasn't really an 'album' to me, only because it felt like a weird collection of songs more than an actual project.

  • I feel like a lot of times, when making a one-song collab with someone, it's easy for one person to not be fully invested. I guess you'd call that 'mailing it in.' But when you say 'This is our album,' then all parties have a reason to make it as good as possible, and the goal becomes seeing what we can do together as a unit.

  • I got tired of everybody repeating the same phrases in the hip-hop world.

  • I don't really regret much of my music life.

  • I went to college in '94 and started freestyling a lot more and hearing how others did it, hearing styles from other regions, all of it. Met Blockhead there.

  • I love rap lyrics, I love hearing people rap, I love molding a thought or idea into the shape that fits on a rap beat.

  • I don't like to do the same songs every night for a week. I just... it's boring and tiring and frustrating basically.

  • MCs are authors, and rock musicians who write lyrics are authors, to a degree.

  • I know so many people that were really able to lead 'perfect' lives. They meet the right person, they make the babies, they get the jobs, they get the house and it's essentially a smooth ride. That really didn't happen for me.

  • After much inner debate, I can safely proclaim that Mungo Jerry's 'In the Summertime' may, in fact, be the best song ever recorded.

  • I remember when I was younger, I read that Jay-Z was 33 and I was just like, 'Damn! This dudes really still goin for it?' It's just so rare that you see any rapper over 30 doing anything interesting.