MC / producer Aesop Rock claims he's a seer, in the classic sense of the word. He says he views the world differently, and has strange visions - both real and imagined. Confused? So are a lot of his fans. "People often tell me that they don't know what the hell I'm talking about," he states, matter-of-factly. "But they like it." The 24-year-old-New Yorker is one of a small group of rappers and producers (Anti-Pop Consortium, Company Flow, Freestyle Fellowship) who've been taking their art to a new level, challenging what it means to be an artist by remembering their roots as fed-up fans. As shown on Float (Mush), his lyrical style is multilayered and ever-changing; he throws quick-witted words over and around minimal beats laid down with production partner Blockhead. Atmosphere is Float's means-to-an-end, creating moody beds for Aesop to lay his ideas across, and it shows on the bass groove and multi-layered stylistics of "Big Bang," on the drum-machine-led love/hate TV ode "Basic Cable" and on the accordian-tinged fable "The Mayor And The Crook." But the atmosphere's only icing - Aesop's fanbase is firmly built on respect for the verse he throws over it. Says the MC, "I think that's because I'm honest. I speak in a way that lets people know the reality in a way that lets people know the reality in the emotion behind the words."