Long-time collaborators Aesop Rock and TOBACCO released their first full-length record last Friday. The grisly visage of Barbie’s companion graces the cover. Malibu Ken is the name of the partnership between the two artists who have collaborated as early as 2008 on TOBACCO’s Fucked Up Friends.
This album was anticipated by many. With Portland Rapper Aesop Rock’s limitless lexicon of rhymes and TOBACCO, also known as Thomas Fec of Black Moth Super Rainbow, on the beats. The project lives up the hype, as the styles of both artists complement one another flawlessly.
Aesop Rock boasts the largest vocabulary in rap according to The Pudding, and he flexes it on “1+1=13.” His rhymes are laden with sardonic humor and pop culture references as his raps over TOBACCO’s ominous electronic beats. TOBACCO’s darker, often nightmarish style (as evidenced in his bad-trip music videos, like this one by Eric Wareheim) fits with Aesop Rock’s raspy, deadpan delivery. You’ll have to listen to the track a few times before you catch all of the references and humor (or at least I had to).