20 Questions with Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic (Hail Mary Mallon)
When two of the most creative emcees in hip-hop dig deep into their own impressive bag of extensive vocabulary, the results are something special. Such is the case with Rhymesayers prodigy Aesop Rock (who’s been scientifically proven to use more words than any other rapper) and established wordsmith Rob Sonic. They joined together to make the group Hail Mary Mallon and the game hasn’t been the same since. The duo makes its way through Colorado with DJ Abilities and special guest Homeboy Sandman on Friday, Jan 16 at the Gothic Theatre and Saturday, Jan 17 at the Aggie. Before they do, they threw some of those fancy words at us to answer 20 Questions.
1. How’s life on the road, is everyone well?
AR: I am at home in bed. A cool breeze learns the room. I am alone.
RS: Not sure, I live on a street not a road?
2. Does Hail Mary Mallon ever get confused with a metal group?
AR: This is the first I've heard that, but I'm pretty down for an image zap.
RS: Yeah, people mistake us for Motor Head all the time.
3. Why the beast heads for the album’s artwork?
AR: The record seemed like a museum of beasts for various reasons, from the songs to the process, so the title was working for us on a couple levels. We wanted to continue that metaphor and turned it into the Taxidermy'd beast heads.
RS: The beasts are representations of the monsters that live within all of us.
4. Which artists (aside from the both of you of course) are on top of the hip-hop game right now?
AR: Oh snap, thanks. I have no idea who is on top of the game. Lately, I like Vince Staples, Homeboy Sandman, Shirt, Michael Christmas. Danny Brown goes in. I always check for Pusha T. DOOM fan for life. It's a long list.
RS: Killer Mike, Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar.
5. Are there any new artists you like we should be listening to?
AR: I think I accidentally got my 4 in your 5.
RS: I like a lot of the young dudes in the Trap scene but I feel like there's a new guy everyday so, Lil Durk (but he's not really new). Chinx Drugs is dope too.
6. What color are your bed sheets?
AR: I recently woke up to find my cat mid-shit at the foot of my bed. Quite a day. Anyway my new sheets are kinda gray-ish.
RS: Mine are white and purple with naked ladies on them.
7. Is there any specific reason why they’re that color?
AR: My friend was going to target and I was like "hey my cat shit on my bed. can you pick me up any full-size fitted sheet?"
RS: That's the color that the ones with naked ladies came in.
8. Any regrets in life?
AR: Yea, kind of a lot but I mean, shit.
RS: Too many.
9. Plastic surgery: Has it gone too far?
AR: No way, I think we have much further to go. Full-body snugification, Lightning facelift, Knee-rounding.
RS: Nah, I think when everyone can look like Brad Pitt if they want, thats a good thing.
10. When cell phones are raised all over the place at shows does it bother you?
AR: It's not too bad usually. The only time I really said anything was when dude was holding up an ipad front row. I was just like man, no.
RS: No, it's usually to signify a really dramatic emotional part of a show it was better when like STYX would do it with lighters but whatever. Channel your inner STYX
11. What are some necessary ingredients to make a great song?
AR. There's not really one way. You can make a giant chorus with 3 16's, or just bust a verse on a loop, and both could be amazing or terrible. I think really if you have a hard beat and a dope rhyme, you're in a good place. You can dress it up as you wish, but I mean if you don't start there, you're kinda F'd.
RS: I feel like it's mostly being honest with your self about what you're making, and the drive to keep at a song when you've realized what you're doing isn't a great song. (great is subjective so disregard this entirely.)
12. What artist(s) would be your ultimate collaboration (living or dead)?
AR: To be honest I just like collaborating with my friends. I like to be a rap fan and these days. I avoid meeting a lot of rappers so I can just be the fan.
RS: It happened when Buddy Miles was drumming for Jimmy Hendrix.
13. What deceased artists would you like to see still making music if they could?
AR: Camu Tao
RS: Biggie Smalls
14. Are there already plans for a future album?
AR: I'm always working away. I don't have anything to announce this minute but I'm doing the thing. I'd love to keep Hail Mary Mallon and The Uncluded going as well as my solo stuff, but ultimately I'm just working on whatever feels right at the time.
RS: Yeah, what he said. I feel like if it happens it happens, but we each have our own thing going on, and the plan is always in that not stopping, so...
15. How far ahead do you normally plan your day?
AR: I get into a routine that I start to enjoy and then I won't change it for some time. My days arent necessarily planned out, but I kinda do the same thing everyday.
RS: I plan my days a day or 2 in advance usually, or else I won't do anything. When I started working for myself, I kind of fell into that habit.
16. If you did a children’s album, what would you title it?
RS: T.R.Y. (The Rebellious Youth)
17. Make a two-line stanza for us rhyming the words “lighter thumb” and “hyper bum”
AR: You are doing the fun part and making me do the work.
RS: What type of drum you strike becomes flint for life and lighter thumbs
Just like the tongue you bite when humped in tiger woods by hyper bums
18. The Grammys are coming, do the awards mean much to music, or are they overhyped?
AR: As much as they don't impact me or what I listen to, I do enjoy the spectacle of it all on some level. It's pretty absurd, but I feel like most people there would agree.
RS: Yes, they are important. Yes, they are over hyped.
19. Should grown men be allowed to cry?
AR: No way dude woah wtf!?
RS: Depends on what it's over. Grown men can't cry over shit like break ups, but they can cry over Apollo Creed dying in Rocky 4.
20. Any last words before you swing through Colorado?
AR: Sure. What you are witnessing is real. The participants are not actors - they are actual litigants with a case pending in a California municipal court. Both parties have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here... in OUR forum... the Peoooooplleeee's Court! Hi I'm Doug Llewelyn.
RS: No, Colorado, I do not want to watch Up In Smoke (again).
Friday Jan 16, 2015
Gothic Theatre - (3263 South Broadway)
All Ages // $21 adv. // doors @ 8pm
Saturday Jan 17, 2015
Aggie Theatre - (204 South College Ave)
16+ // $20 adv. // doors @ 7pm
Photo Credit: The Pressure