By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      It’s been three years since Def Jux artist Aesop Rock released new music (2004’s Fast Cars, Danger, Fire, and Knives EP) and six years since he released a full album’s worth of tunes (2001’s Labor Days). But that doesn’t mean he’s been slacking. Aesop collaborated with Jeremy Fish to make a “children’s book that’s not for children”, called the “The Next Best Thing”, he scored a couple of movies (“Fishtales” and “Walleyball”), and made a mix CD for Nike’s Original Run Series. But in a recent interview, Aesop said that he’s been working on his new album, “None Shall Pass”, for the last two years.

      "I get so focused that I forget that people have to actually hear this sh*t some day, so those songs where I went off on weird tangents just to try something new … I start thinking, are people gonna get this?," Aesop told "Me and Blockhead (Aesop’s longtime collaborator) are really like a well-oiled machine at this point. One of the main differences was how much we mixed and matched samples with live instrumentation. A lot of it was pre-planned, but then at one point we ran into a handful of sample issues, and between me and a group of musicians I know, we had to restructure a good amount of the production. It ended up being this really hefty mix of samples and live stuff."

      The album also features contributions from DJ Big Wiz, Rob Sonic, El-P and John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. Look for “None Shall Pass” to hit stores on August 28.