By Jano Tantongco
Aesop Rock, hit alternative hip-hop artist and producer, will come home to his native Town of Huntington on Jan. 21 to fill The Paramount with his loquacious lyrics, coupled with fresh beats that might just warp the fabric of reality.
Aesop, whose real name is Ian Matthias Bavitz, grew up in Huntington Station and he and his family moved to Northport in the late 1980s. He calls it his foundation, and explored the island on the four wheels of his skateboard.
“Tons of skateboarding for me in those days, which would always get me out of my hometown to explore and meet other people who skated,” Aesop said in an email interview. “It was a blast. I basically grew up in parking lots throughout Long Island.”
As for his Paramount appearance, it’s his first official show in Long Island. He’ll be playing some tracks from his latest album, “The Impossible Kid,” which released last year, as well as some oldies. He’ll be performing alongside fellow artists Homeboy Sandman and Rob Sonic.
“I assume most of my Long Island-based fans have traveled to the city for past shows, same as I used to,” Aesop said. “It’ll be nice to be out there though — it’s been a while.”
Lately, he said, he’s been listening to artists like Ka, Mick Jenkins, D.R.A.M and the work of his close friends. In his younger years, he was also inspired by the work of local artists, as well.
“Growing up I just loved Long Island groups, EPMD, PE, de la, KMD/DOOM, and tons more,” he said.
Taking a listen to any one of his songs, one might be struck at the depth of his lyrics and the broad context of philosophy, science, history and art he draws from.
“I’ve always just attempted to keep a lot of visual references in my work. I think I am just always open, sponging up stuff and re-applying it to my life,” Aesop said. “Whether an article. A movie, a trip, whatever it is. I’m always thinking about how what I’m learning can be applied to my art. I take things in, twist them up, and spit them back out.”
Looking ahead, Aesop is gearing up to complete some of his mid-stage projects, while expecting the release of two films he scored in 2016, Bushwick and Infinity Baby.
Doors will open at The Paramount at 8 p.m. on Jan. 21, with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets range $20-$45 and can be purchased at the box office, or from Paramountny.com.