Stones Throw Records presents Lice.
The free, five track EP features production from DJ Spinna, Optiks, longtime collaborator Blockhead, Alex “Apex” Gale and Charles Hamilton. Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman are truly two of the most idiosyncratic emcees in the independent realm – and have been for some time. And thus, Lice is delightfully odd, and it takes some time to grow – different layers subtly emerge on subsequent listens.
The two emcees vastly contrasting styles can be a bit jarring at first. Aesop is consistently more energetic and verbose, and Sandman is decidedly more relaxed and melodic. One would be hard-pressed to find two emcees with more distinct and recognizable styles than this pairing. But after a few tracks, their singular and unique voices coalesce into a cohesive product that feels more akin to jazz than hip hop in certain ways. There’s an element of verbal ping pong -a level of linguistic sparring- to the project that makes it feel fairly avant-garde while still remaining grounded within each emcee’s collective wheelhouse. Regardless of how you feel about either of these artists, Lice is -at the very least- a unique project and an intriguing listen.