The Impossible Kid

Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2016 Ratings: #150 / 775
User Score
Based on 414 ratings
2016 Ratings: #29
April 29, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Rhymesayers / Label
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
Your Review
Sign In to rate and review


A.V. Club

The Impossible Kid is another reminder that Rock is in his own universe.

Consequence of Sound

The next step probably won’t be the hyper-drive into mainstream spotlight that some of his peers have enjoyed. That’s fine. The Impossible Kid still feels like the exclamation mark on a chapter in Bavitz’s life — a love letter to the distance already run. What he does next can be just as remarkable.

This is what it sounds like when rap’s greatest wordsmith only uses the ones that count.

For years, Aesop Rock has been beloved for his ambitious, loquacious lyricism, but on The Impossible Kid, he's reached new artistic heights by using that elaborate wordplay to offer us a simple yet powerful glimpse at his scarred psyche.

The tones, beats, hooks, and endless variations and rhyming patterns are all here, and they come off as just as volatile and, perhaps, even more immediate than anything Aesop Rock has made to date.
Ultimately ‘The Impossible Kid’ is an album that will reinforce whatever preconceptions about Aesop Rock you already hold. However, it’s also worth noting that this is most probably the least cryptic and most honest of all his records.
Lyrical prowess is never in doubt, and neither is the idea that the MC is an acquired taste, but this wordy, extroverted, and capricious effort is an alive whirlwind with more pride than usual. That last bit makes it one of the most persuasive Aesop efforts to date.
Under The Radar

The rapper spends much of The Impossible Kid sorting through such disdain for self.


For an artist so dedicated to literary technicalities, Aesop diverts from the usual script just enough to give listeners a better look into his personal life, whether it’s reminiscing on growing pains, or just venting to those who’ll listen. The end result is his most introspective material since “Daylight.” 


Almost every track on The Impossible Kid is indistinguishable from the next, blending together in a way that converts the man’s talent into his fatal flaw, due in part to the forgettable beats.


The Impossible Kid has grown on me a lot over the past month, it's Aesop's most polished and focused effort and the production is some of the best on any album of the 2010's. As much as I adore Labor Days (and despite thinking The Impossible Kid and Labor Days are on pretty much the same level), I have to say this is my new favorite Aesop Rock album. Full review coming maybe.

original score (4/7/19) 86
Overall, this project has solid production and extremely intricately crafted lyricism... so lyrical to the point that some might be turned off to the lack of memorability, but I remain fascinated.
An all around decent rap album that makes for a good time.

Best Track: Blood Sandwich
Worst Track: Shrunk
Atrocity Exhibition my ass, this album is the true hip-hop masterpiece of 2016. This album is just so memorable to me, I mean, have you heard of Aesop Rock’s flow? He’s amazing. He seouriusly puts Eminem to shame.

In my opinion, this is the greatest written hip-hop album of all time, like there’s so many verses are so memorable, for example: “I paint caves 'til the rage campaign tapers. And show a new crop how he used to moonwalk. Out of breath like a 7-day old balloon ... read more

I wouldn't mind getting lost in this world that Aesop Rock has crafted. For some the bass-reliant instrumentals may come off as repetitive, but I've found it to be quite infectious.
Purchasing The Impossible Kid from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Mystery Fish
  2. Rings
  3. Lotta Years
  4. Dorks
  5. Rabies
  6. Supercell
  7. Blood Sandwich
  8. Get out of the Car
  9. Shrunk
  10. Kirby
  11. TUFF
  12. Lazy Eye
  13. Defender
  14. Water Tower
  15. Molecules
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: February 17, 2016