Open Mike Eagle was in Portland recently and talked with Aesop Rock for his Secret Skin podcast. The discussion between the two artists delves deep into who Aesop Rock is, and it really kind of opens up to understand a bit of his mind behind making music (and just living life and such). He talks about depression, anxiety, music, moving, and more. Check out Mike’s full directory of podcasts by hitting this link.
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On this episode of Secret Skin, Open Mike Eagle checks in with Aesop Rock from the “magical rap forest” of Portland, Oregon, which Aesop calls home (for now).
In a wide-ranging interview, the self-described “very private” rapper opens up about his bouts with depression and anxiety, moving back to New York City, the artists who have influenced him, what “success” looks like for a working rapper in 2015 and his forthcoming solo record.
The former Boston University art student, who still considers himself a failed artist, has released six albums in 15 years, plus numerous collaborative projects, EPs, and singles.
Aesop reveals that he quit his day job in 2001 so he could go on tour, only to bow out of the gig due to an anxiety attack. This meant staying behind in New York City and getting a prescription for anti-anxiety medication, which he filled on September 11, 2001. In downtown Manhattan.
He spent the next 14 years on various medications, but has weaned himself off everything over the last six months.
“It doesn’t matter because I don’t feel good anyway,” Aesop says of the decision. “I can at least go back to see who the fuck I am when I’m normal for a second. And if six months go by and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s why I’m on this shit,’ then fine, so be it.”