Aesop Rock Shares “By The River” 

Prolific rapper and producer Aesop Rock has just shared the second single & video from his forthcoming album Integrated Tech Solutions (Rhymesayers Entertainment) out November 10, 2023.“By The River” is a pan-syllabic meditation on Aesop’s love of rivers near and far, with his lyrical train of thought drifting across a deeply hypnotic (and self-produced) jazz-infused backdrop. In keeping with his increasingly DIY process, Aesop directed the video himself. The visual unexpectedly features an on-camera appearance from the reclusive MC, as he lends the song a literal interpretation by performing it down by the river while a ticker across the bottom of the screen churns a stream of corporate jargon via the album’s fictional namesake organization. ITS offered the following as a statement on the track: “ITS supports time spent next to all bodies of water, as they continue to be a hotbed of integrated technology as well as a muster point for brainstorming innovators.”

Largely self-produced, Integrated Tech Solutions catches Aesop Rock at his leanest and most innovative with features ranging from billy woods, Hanni El Khatib, Rob Sonic, Nikki Jean, and Lealani amid a streamlined psychedelic production style. Always on the search for new sources of creative invigoration, Aesop worked on many of the beats for the album while traveling, traditionally a part of his process that he would only do at home in the studio. The effect of the constantly shifting external stimuli is a record that sounds itself like an organism growing, mutating, and teetering on edge of abyss. “By The River” marks the second single from the project, following on the heels of the video for the album’s inadvertent mission statement “Mindful Solutionism,” which charts humanity’s progress from the wheel to modern agriculture before taking a misguided hairpin turn into atomic bombs, cigarettes, and surveillance cameras… or as Aes succinctly sums up “We cannot be trusted with the stuff that we come up with.”