So it seems Aesop Rock is the latest artist to contribute to Nike’s Original Run series. The idea is to be a 45 minute continuous mix that you can listen to while wearing your Nike apparel. You’ve probably already heard LCD Soundsystem’s mix from a few months back.
The idea that one of the best underground hip hop artists has been commissioned by a company with questionable work practices doesn’t sit well for me. Sure, there are sports stars like Tiger with sponsorship deals but musicians are a different breed, how can they benefit from working with such a company? Nike gain cool points by working with some of the best independent artists in music but where’s the trade-off? A years supply of sneakers? A shitload of money? Just sayin’.
As for the mix itself, entitled “All Day” Aesop had this to say about it:
I wouldnt call it my first instrumental album as I kind of approached it differently then I would a true instrumental album, but it is primarily instrumental, with some areas of vocals. This project has lots of live intrumentation, bass, guitars, keys, etc., and really has a consistently changing sound. There were a couple rules to follow, as I kinda had to make something that was as ‘functional’ as it was kinda cool to listen to. It really runs the gamut from super light and almost ambient to pretty dark and tuff, to eerie, to funky, etc etc. I really got to try things i dont think i would have ever tried elsewhere on this thing. Dj Big Wiz does cuts throughout. Allyson Baker (former parchman farm member) plays guitar a lot.
You can hear a sample of it on his myspace as well as a snippet from the forthcoming album None Shall Pass.