|ESPN.com: Scene||[Print without images]|
Aesop Rock is a linguistic savant who helped define the genre of backrap rap, or independent hip-hop, over the last 20 years. Born Ian Matthias Bavitz in Syosset, NY, on Long Island, Aesop found independent success early by self-releasing his first two albums -- "Music for Earth Worms" and "Appleseed" in the late 1990s. The latter album was well received in New York's vibrant underground hip-hop scene and eventually led to him signing with the now-defunct Definitive Jux label. During the 2000s, Aesop continued to roll out new albums and was named one of the top 100 artists of the decade by Rolling Stone.
Skateboarding has always been a big part of Aesop's life and work and he's appeared in numerous skate-related projects, including the "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" video-game series. Aesop is back on tour in 2013 promoting his new album, "Skelethon," on Rhymesayers Entertainment, which provided us with the perfect opportunity to check in with this hip-hop icon.