Qu'est-ce Que J D?


This is one of the most important songs I’ve ever heard.

Aesop gets embarrassed and awkward whenever I try to tell him that, but he can go lay an egg. This shit is perfect.

No Regrets

Lucy was 7 and wore a head of blue barettes
City born, into this world with no knowledge and no regrets
Had a piece of yellow chalk with which she’d draw upon the street
The many faces of the various locals that she would meet
There was joshua, age 10
Bully of the block
Who always took her milk money at the morning bus stop
There was Mrs. Crabtree, and her poodle
She always gave a wave and holler on her weekly trip down to the bingo
And she drew
Men, women, kids, sunsets, clouds
And she drew
Skyscrapers, fruit stands, cities, towns
Always said hello to passers-by
They’d ask her why she passed her time
Attachin lines to concrete
But she would only smile
Now all the other children living in or near her building
Ran around like tyrants, soaking up the open fire hydrants
They would say
“Hey little Lucy, wanna come jump double dutch?”
Lucy would pause, look, grin and say
“I’m busy, thank you much”
Well, well, one year passed
And believe it or not
She covered every last inch of the entire sidewalk,
And she stopped-
“Lucy, after all this, you’re just giving in today??”
She said:
“I’m not giving in, I’m finished,” and walked away

(Chorus: x2)
1 2 3
That’s the speed of the seed
That’s the speed of the need
dream a little dream,
Or you can live a little dream
I’d rather live it
Cuz dreamers always chase
But never get it

Lucy was 37, and introverted somewhat
Basement apartment in the same building she grew up in
She traded in her blue barettes for long locks held up with a clip
Traded in her yellow chalk for charcoal sticks
And she drew
Little bobby who would come to sweep the porch
And she drew
The mailman, delivered everyday at 4
Lucy had very little contact with the folks outside her cubicle day
But she found it suitable, and she liked it that way
She had a man now: Rico, similar, hermit
They would only see each other once or twice a week on purpose
They appreciated space and Rico was an artist too
So they’d connect on saturdays to share the pictures that they drew
Now every month or so, she’d get a knock upon the front door
Just one of the neighbors,
Actin nice, although she was a strange girl, they would
Say, “Lucy, wanna join me for some lunch??”
Lucy would smile and say “I’m busy, thank you much”
And they would make a weird face the second the door shut
And run and tell their friends how truly crazy Lucy was
And lucy knew what people thought but didn’t care
Cuz while they spread their rumors through the street
She’d paint another masterpiece

(Chorus x2)

Lucy was 87, upon her death bed
At the senior home, where she had previously checked in
Traded in the locks and clips for a head rest
Traded in the charcoal sticks for arthritis, it had to happen
And she drew no more, just sat and watched the dawn
Had a television in the room that she’d never turned on
Lucy pinned up a life worth’s of pictures on the wall
And sat and smiled, looked each one over, just to laugh at it all
Now Rico, he had passed, ‘bout 5 years back
So the visiting hours pulled in a big flock o’ nothin
She’d never spoken once throughout the spanning of her life
Until the day she leaned forward, grinned and pulled the nurse aside
And she said:
“Look, I’ve never had a dream in my life
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued
I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done
So i’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one!”
The nurse jumped back,
She’d never heard Lucy even talk,
‘Specially words like that
She walked over to the door, and pulled it closed behind
Then Lucy blew a kiss to each one of her pictures
And she died.

(Chorus x2)

1 2 3…
A B C…

This used to be the song I used to introduce people to Aesop Rock’s music, but I realized eventually that to lure them in with the ONE song he’s ever done with no haze of multiplying analogies resting over every literal idea conveyed was unfair, and that if they were really going to be able to understand him later they should probably start with something off Bazooka Tooth, because you can trace all the abstraction to its literal meanings without a ton of effort and because people who start off loving his earlier records first wind up hating that one because it’s too good for them.  Usually.  Except me, obvz.

But yeah this song really stands out among rap narratives, because it’s a story about a woman who isn’t made either a tragic figure or a metaphor for something going on with dudes.  And she even isn’t depicted with hyper focus (and judgement) on her sexuality, or a total lack of it.  It’s a man writing a woman character as a person, and I wish that wasn’t almost unheard of but jesus christ find me one other example in hip-hop, please?

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    Aesop Rock: No Regrets
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    PS: Aesop Rock is answering questions over at Reddit, it’s worth checking out.
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    Aesop Rock. Enough said.
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