Jon SimmonsRap Spaghetti: Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ Abilities Jon Simmons February 19, 2015 Beantown Beats, Concert Reviews, Featured, Reviews 2 Comments 2/17/15 – The Sinclair Hungry for rap spaghetti? Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic are ready to feed you a tangle of terms. On Tuesday night, a sold-out college-aged crowd at The Sinclair came hungry to consume Aesop Rock’s intricate rhymes along with fellow MC Rob Sonic. Backed by DJ Abilities, the two are on tour together to promote Bestiary, their group Hail Mary Mallon’s second album. After DJ Abilities set up on his DJ platform, out walked a grinning Aesop Rock and an apathetic Rob Sonic, who, after a quick hello, got right to rapping. Launching into a mix of songs old and new, the group took from Aesop Rock’s repertoire as well as from Rob Sonic’s. While Aesop Rock had come to dazzle, delivering twisting rhymes with plenty of energy, Rob Sonic looked like he had woken up from a bad hangover at his in-laws house and was half-assedly trying to save face at the breakfast table. He picked his nose and scratched his beard during DJ Abilities’ instrumental sections. Wake up, Rob. You’re in front of hundreds of people, not a plate of eggs. The highlight of the show was hearing Aesop Rock rap solo, a soliloquy that emphasized his intricate lyricism—weird and bare, like a hairless cat. Aesop Rock the slam poet? Not far from it. Aesop Rock, photo by Jon Simmons Aesop Rock, photo by Jon Simmons Aesop Rock, photo by Jon Simmons The Sinclair, photo by Jon Simmons DJ Abilities showed off his abilities in his solo set, furiously scratching his vinyl records to the beat and creating droning sound effects and chopper-like rhythms that matched Aesop Rock’s weirdness. Though initially captivating in obscurity, he began to wander further and further into soundscapes more fit for soundtracking movies about the apocalypse. The desire for a steady beat and lyrics grew. “I might have a seizure,” Sonic said, laughing, when DJ Abilities concluded his set. Thankfully, the group soon after performed one of Aesop Rock’s biggest hits, “None Shall Pass,” an antithesis to the scrambled DJ set. Relieved by the reemergence of a steady beat and a simple hook, the crowd was moving again. They performed a few more songs as people began to trickle out of the venue. “None Shall Pass” would have made for a stronger ending, without doubt—a final punctuation mark after a slew of veritable verses. People had come to hear Aesop Rock. But the group decided to finish with Hail Mary Mallon songs, including a two-song encore. Which sort of makes sense since they’re promoting Hail Mary Mallon. But still. Snooze. Aesop Rock, photo by Jon Simmons Aesop Rock, photo by Jon Simmons Rap Spaghetti: Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ AbilitiesProsAesop Rock’s rap soliloquy was bare and weird and amazingPlayed old Aesop Rock hit songs—crowd ate them upConsRob Sonic looked boredDJ Abilities set was too longToo many, “If you’re feeling good, say “Hell ya!"s6Rap SpaghettiShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) 2 Responses Dan February 19, 2015 Not a bad review. I agree with the Rob Sonic commentary. I had the exact same thoughts. He looked like he was bored. We met at the show and chatted about hip-hop for a bit. What did you think of Homeboy Sandman? Reply Jon Simmons February 19, 2015 Hey Dan! Thanks for the comment! Impressed by Aesop, not so much by Sonic. Maybe an off night. Homebody Sandman was fire—If I had been reviewing him I would have great things to say. Loved his soliloquy, too. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.