Last month, Aesop Rock and Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Tobacco announced a collaborative project under the name Malibu Ken. The pairing goes a long way back — they’ve been kicking around this idea ever since they toured together over a decade ago. Now, it’s finally come to fruition. We already heard a preview by way of “Acid King,” which was one of our favorite songs that week.
Today, the duo is back with another new one called “Corn Maze,” an absurdly appropriate name for a song featuring Aesop Rock’s characteristically dense lyricism. As usual, Aesop Rock dexterously flashes through a relentless stream of thoughts. (An amusing highlight: “I don’t have a horse in your war games/ I don’t even really like horses.”) Underneath, Tobacco relies on these little flickering synth notes that echo the flurry of Aesop’s words. Maybe the best part comes when, in lieu of a chorus, Aesop raps “I pull my hood down/ I got some walls up” and Tobacco takes over with this smeared, melted synth.
The blurrier sounds are fitting for the nature of the song and its accompanying video. Like with “Acid King,” “Corn Maze” comes with a clip directed by Rob Shaw. It depicts Aesop Rock during a bout of insomnia, those thoughts unraveling in front of a TV full of retro cartoons, in the isolation of night hours. Check it out below.
Malibu Ken is out 1/18 via Rhymesayers. Pre-order it here.