Malibu Ken
Malibu Ken


4.0
excellent

Review

by chris. USER (49 Reviews)
January 18th, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s starting to feel like a nice night

Malibu Ken is quite the unnerving image to look at. From the disgusting smile in the cover, to the face rotting in real time in the video for “Acid King”, it’s an abrasive aesthetic that lends itself to the actual music on display here. The beats are initially off-putting, the rhymes dark and dense, and the vibe tense. Aesop’s wordplay has always been intricate and abstract, his flow versatile, but combined with the experimental production of TOBACCO from Black Moth Super Rainbow fame" The result is a hip hop project that’s truly unconventional and unique.

Truth be told, I’ve never really followed Aesop Rock. I knew his discography was filled with well-received projects but I hadn’t had a reason to check any of his work out. Malibu Ken showed me how stupid I was to not. Aesop’s storytelling is a force to be reckoned with on this album. Whether it’s detailing the murder of one Gary Lauwers by Ricky Kasso in 1984 or his antisocial tendencies in day to day life in “Corn Maze”, Aesop is consistent in delivering some verbose complex wordplay with a airtight flow. The way he chooses the words he quickly glosses over in a matter of seconds is surprisingly catchy. Lines like “The magic is black, backyard happy and fertile for Kasso, the Acid King of the Black Circle” only take a couple seconds to pass but they immediately stick. Aesop’s strength here is filling the record with lines like those, never becoming annoying or tiring. Everything here is lyrically scatterbrained in the best way possible, jumping from idea to idea while painting vivid pictures like “Every day I wake up in a gallon of sweat. Puke blood, hit the shower, turn to Malibu Ken.” In terms of skilled MC’s dropping new material, Aesop Rock starts the year off extremely right.

“The kid TOBACCO is a face in the fire on the ***ing mountain”

With all that said, however, a skilled MC alone does not a good record make. That’s where TOBACCO comes in. Black Moth Super Rainbow is a name I’m more familiar with, along with their brand of psychedelic trip-hop indie music. TOBACCO takes that background and crafts a sounds that’s equal parts cerebral and infectious. Analog synths dominate completely here, starting off as unwelcoming but opens up as each song progresses into something really melodic and lush. It’s an amazing backdrop to Aesop’s abstract and fast-changing lyricism, following every twisted flow closely. Malibu Ken wouldn’t be as interesting if it weren’t for Aesop and TOBACCO working off each other effortlessly.

With that being said, this record is prone to sounding a little homogeneous. The structures change little song to song, save for some highlights. Aesop’s voice can also be an acquired taste for some as his rapping is more on the nasally side and his style is easy to get turned away at. However, Malibu Ken is without a doubt an interesting experience and one of the first great hip hop releases to come out this year.



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user ratings (130)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Channing Freeman STAFF (4)
A delightfully trippy and weird release that is nonetheless hampered by some predictability....


Comments:Add a Comment 
McTime50
January 18th 2019


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There’s Malibu Ken, and there’s Aesop Rock and Tobaccp pages. This one already has ratings on it so that’s what I used

Pheromone
January 18th 2019


6813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is good, not as good as The Impossible Kid tho

Digging: Klaatu - 3:47 Est

McTime50
January 18th 2019


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If I were to check more Aesop, would that be where I start or nah

Pheromone
January 18th 2019


6813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If you dig this, you might as well work backwards. It's my favourite Aes - Labor Days might have the highest highs, though.

Papa Universe
January 18th 2019


20096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

malibu POS

Digging: Pedigree - New Freak

jmh886
January 18th 2019


2265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yea had no idea aesop had new shit.

WatchItExplode
January 18th 2019


6426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm really not that into Aesop but love BMSR...conflicted but I should at least check this.

MotokoKusanagi
January 18th 2019


1737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"If I were to check more Aesop, would that be where I start or nah"



labor days or none shall pass imo

Digging: DJ Central - Li'ud

WatchItExplode
January 18th 2019


6426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tuesday kills. Aesop gets incredibly tiresome over the course of the whole project but I can tolerate him when I pretend he's Busdriver. This makes me want new Black Moth Super Rainbow more than anything cuz these beats and textures are fantastic.

McTime50
January 18th 2019


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Acid King is probably my favorite

WatchItExplode
January 18th 2019


6426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, when it works it works really well. I just have a low tolerance for Aesop's nonsense honestly. Still probs a 3.5 for me.

jmh886
January 18th 2019


2265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if you haven't listened to aesop, i whole heartedly believe skelethon and the impossible kid are his two best records.

JakeStallion
January 18th 2019


489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is dope. Impossible Kid is my favorite thing Aes has ever done but honestly its all pretty good-great.

rsminsmith
January 18th 2019


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, if you're unfamiliar with Aes it's easiest to work backwards. Impossible Kid is the most palatable, and consistent record. Skelethon's first ~4 songs are probably one of my favorite sequences. Further back has really good highlights, but the albums as a whole aren't quite as good IMO.

Kompys2000
January 18th 2019


2353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh shit I totally forgot this was dropping today, gonna jam ASAP

Kompys2000
January 18th 2019


2353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

AES IN THE PALM AT THE WORKPLACE, JERKFACE

Ashtiel
January 18th 2019


318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i listened to this just now and i feel like i need a shower

Digging: Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Nocebo



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