A couple of months ago, the world was presented with a strange spectacle: A video of Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most powerful men on the planet, wakeboarding while listening to Aesop Rock. (It turned out to be an Aesop guest verse from an Evidence song, but still.) That must’ve been weird for Aesop Rock, a devoted weirdo who’s put in years upon years of service to the underground rap game. It’s almost enough to make me wonder whether that experience informed the creation of Aesop Rock’s next LP, a concept album called Integrated Tech Solutions.
Integrated Tech Solutions, which Aesop just announced today, is his first full-on solo album since 2020’s excellent Spirit World Field Guide. In the time since that record, Aesop has put out a lot of music. He teamed with producer and longtime collaborator Blockhead for the 2021 album Garbology. He produced his friend Homeboy Sandman’s 2022 EP Anjelitu. Back in December, he came out with the Lupe Fiasco collab “Pumpkin Seeds.” Now, he’s getting ready to release a new LP about a fictional company that offers “lifestyle- and industry-specific applications designed to curate a desired multi-experience,” which sounds like some true Zuckerberg shit.
Aesop Rock produced most of Integrated Tech Solutions himself, and the album riffs on the kind of corporate jargon that the title evokes. The LP features contributions from billy woods, Hanni El Khatib, Rob Sonic, Nikki Jean, and Lealani Teano. Today, Aes has shared the Schoolhouse Rock-looking animated video for first single “Mindful Solutionism.” It’s a wordy, energetic four-minute reflection on humanity’s long history with technology — starting with stone weapons, wheels, and fire, and leading up to “3D-printed body parts, dehydrated onion dip.” The inescapable conclusion: “We can not be trusted with the stuff that we come up with/ The machinery could eat us, we just really just love our buttons.” Below, check out the Justin “Coro” Kaufman-directed video and the Integrated Tech Solutions tracklist.
01 “The ITS Way”
02 “Mindful Solutionism”
03 “Infinity Fill Goose Down
04 “Living Curfew” (Feat. billy woods)
06 “Kyanite Toothpick” (Feat. Hanni El Khatib)
07 “100 Feet Tall”
08 “Salt And Pepper Squid”
09 “Time Moves Differently Here”
10 “Aggressive Steven”
11 “Bermuda” (Feat. Lealani Teano)
12 “By The River”
13 “All City Nerve Map”
14 “Forward Compatibility Engine” (Feat. Rob Sonic)
15 “On Failure”
16 “Solid Gold”
18 “Black Snow” (Feat. Nikki Jean)
Integrated Tech Solutions is out 11/10 on Rhymesayers.