As much as you lovely people might like to think otherwise, Froond is not perfect. I wish I could be an omniscient being of dopeness, at the forefront of everything that’s cooler than being cool. Instead, like the rest of the mortals, I have to play catch up on occasion. Raving about last month’s or year’s hotness like a kid running to the playground only to find that nobody is repping Beyblades anymore. Twas ever thus. If you want to follow along, I have something that caught my eye even though my eye should have caught it sooner.
The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
Aesop Rock is one of my all time favorite rhymers. His flow is non-stop, his lyrics are dense, and he’s got more than a few punchlines that take me a couple listens to fully grasp. After last year’s stellar Skelethon, he’s taken up a collaboration with folk singer Kimya Dawson to form The Uncluded. They have collaborated before, on Aes‘s anti-burial funeral dirge Crows 1 and Kimya‘s ode to the struggle Zero or a Zillion, so this two-great-tastes-team-up isn’t entirely out of left field. The styles pay incredible compliments to one another on this track off of their debut album Hokey Fright. Aesop spins a tale of giving away every piece himself for the sake of helping the people he loves, while Kimya reminisces on childhood laundromats and the sense of community it fostered.
Imperfect human that I am, I made a mistake that many are prone to. I looked in the comments section on Delicate Cycle. Even the positive comments seemed pretty backhanded. People talking about how Dawson is child-like and how Aesop is spitting nonsense. I understand what they’re getting at. Dawson has a simplistic style that carries a sense of wide-eyed wonder, but she’s doing it from a very adult perspective. Check her second verse
I was 26 years old when I first lived in a house/ with a washer and dryer in it and that’s the year I bottomed out
That feeling is an ongoing theme in her work, and one you can only convey convincingly if you’ve lived it. She’s effortlessly relatable, something that can be backfire when it’s not handled properly. The easiest way to relate is to be the lowest common denominator, but Kimya achieves it through honesty and plain speech and I can’t help but feel like things are gonna be ok by the time her verse is over. Aesop‘s verses are just as relatable to me, the feeling of wanting to tear yourself apart if it means it will help the people who keep you from tearing yourself apart. He starts off innocuous, referencing a classic grandpa-to-grandkid illusion
I can take my finger off old dog old trick/ new twist like actually take my finger off/ Wrap in a blanket like you would a severed horse head/ send it to a friend you want to pinky swear more with.
Where he could easily be gloomy, talking about what he’s doing to his body, he focuses on his friends. He’ll send his teeth so to give them defense against critics, he’ll send his eyes and ears so they can use his perspective, he’ll send his legs so they don’t have to go to the curb to pick the rest.
I know that some of you might not feel this. Everyone’s got their own cup of tea. Some people might find this song a little saccharine, but not me. This is just my kind of heartwarming. There’s still an underlying sense of melancholy throughout (Aesop will never feel like he’s paid off his interpersonal debts even if it leaves him a head attached to an arm, Kimya can’t go back to the pride that helping daddy at the laundromat gave her), but over all that is hope. We want to help our friends, we want to connect with the people in our community, it’s all a matter of relating.