Inspiration, especially in art, can come from many places -- be it new experiences or even someone you admire taking on the role of a muse. In the case of Seattle indie rap duo Grayskul, they were especially galvanized by the work of underground stalwart Aesop Rock. It wasn't just his impressive stream-of-consciousness rhymes that moved the pair, they were also taken by his forays into psychedelia-cum-boom-bap production. It's fitting, then, that he supplied both a standout verse and the futuristic beat for Grayskul's latest track, "Not Going Anywhere."
In speaking with the guys, they remarked that Aesop Rock's massive instrumental brought out a different style of writing. "It made us do some shit cadence-wise that we had never done before," Grayksul's JFK and Onry Ozzborne said collectively, reflecting on how their verses are equally tongue-twisting and experimental. Flowing in and out of the pocket can lead to sloppiness, but not here as the two deliver bars in line with their guest's message of rappers needing to step their game up: "Might just recommend a little shut eye/Before we bring the future to you motherfucking luddites."
"In other words," JFK and Onry said, "We're about to raise the bar again so [be] prepared. At least, that's what we got from it." Fair enough, guys, because it sounds like "Not Going Anywhere" -- and much of Grayskul's new album Zenith -- was recorded 50 years from now in a spaceship littered with synthesizers.
Grayskul's Zenith drops September 17 on Fake Four, Inc.