Aesop Rock - Cycles To Gehenna Lyrics




Baseheads locally approach all spark plugs
Total disregard for a dying man's shark jump
Post-meridian pretty tungsten attracts any once-pale horse painted gunmetal black
Face masking, hard-shelled ebony propeller hat
Clubmans, gloved rakes grappling the clutch span
Tuck go the steel toe, metal gate spreading
For the dead-alive that rented parking space 37
2000 out the weekly under "Cycles to Gehenna" gets him floating over 20 buses
Fireproof and festive
Corners like a two-tired tiger so a too-tired rider can accumulate a few excited fibers to assign
Knows no zen in the art of maintenance
Only as the orchestrated patron saint of changing lanes baby
Here is how a great escape goes when you can't take your dead friends names out your phone

Eyes and teeth, new moon on a scale that defies belief
Outside what our fundamental sciences teach, every other mighty lion asleep
Gangway - mine eyes, mine teeth [x3]

The man-ape translates glam thru the visor
Goes in water lilies
Am-scrays Giger, and man-ray
Crammed in a one-player campaign
Blinker like a hallowed bonfire over Samhain
Span where the praying hands mandate
Bars an extension of the arms
They're mutating instead of being farmed
Tonight beneath a marmalade Venus
Haunted mowers chewing every glowing yard of mud between us
Going Ford, Jag, Datsun, Corvette, Lotus
All cones you can slalom when your Zorlac's focused
Via mechanical Dartmoor Frankensteined poorly
And sanctioned by a New Yank Yorkee
Who knew that any moment he could lose it to the decoupaged suicide flooring
And still he keep his fuel tank portly, the 30 odd year old gears thank charlie
The scarf thank Mom's new hobby, kssssht! copy

Eyes and teeth, new moon on a scale that defies belief
Outside what our fundamental sciences teach, every other mighty lion asleep
Gangway - mine eyes, mine teeth [x3]

It was less an act of hubris
More a lonely hearts club at the helm of a magic bullet
Away on a relentless bid for rarefied inertia
Rattletrap forks married to the patchy terra firma Ursa Minor getting warmer
I crowbar into the pecking order
The dreck between the whores and Betty Ford-ers
Hug a double yellow spine
Knobby rubber like a rat on a rope
Those little fuckers run on passion alone
This is the product of a D.I.Y. inadequate home
Grabbing a cabin in the-fuck-outta-dodge
Actin' a savage in the shadows of Rome
Traffic amassed against insufferable odds
Fashioning gallows out of plastic and bone
I got the motordrome walls of death splintering under me
All-city galvanized bikes white knuckling
Bright light, tunnel kings tuck in the devil
P.S. I wrote this on a self destructing memo





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Aesop Rock Cycles To Gehenna Comments
  1. Czarwin

    2019 🔥🔥🔥🔥

  2. KDkorMEvol2

    I wish more riders knew about this song

  3. JT James

    Beast of a track.... respect

  4. Miles Davis

    As much as I love his work and place him high above most, a certain part of hip hop is about being relatable, especially to the culture that created it in the first place. And his style just wasn't that. When he came on the scene, most every rapper worth something was lyrical, so there was that much more emphasis on people understanding it and rappers and hip hop listeners usually aren't "scholars", nor should anyone have to be to understand it. Yet and still, art is relative, so there's definitely a place for him among the underground's elite. He fit's right there with Camp Lo, former label mate EL-P, Canibus, Chip-Fu aka Jungle Rock Jr. (from Fu-schnickens) and AZ to name a few for me personally.

  5. Nicole DeGennaro

    2:52 is seriously one of my favorite tempo changes in any song ever

  6. Nikola Gledachev

    Perfect video and sound!Amazing!

  7. Richard Horger

    This makes me proud to be from Long Island.

  8. Arekusu

    I feel like this entire album was just Aes letting us know he owns a motorcycle.

  9. Jake Matthews

    Last verse is fucking BEAUTIFUL

  10. Kip Tregg

    third verse might be my favorite of all time. Captures that road trip feel so well

  11. GZUS

    this is as boring as atmospheres new album

  12. Chris Hewer

    This is my fight walk out song. So good.

  13. Land Creature

    San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge

  14. MeowMurdle

    Here's how the great escape goes when you can't take your dead friends names out your phone

    Andy Broberg

    Such a powerful line..

  15. The Cuck Stops Here

    SAVAGE IN THE SHADOWS OF ROME

  16. Jesse Hickey

    I think it's pretty satisfying that the ballerinas are all asynchronous in their movements and appearance. Like, it's kinda righteous that they aren't stuck to a routine or archetype.

  17. TheGhjgjgjgjgjg

    R.I.P to those trying to dececipher,Aesops lyrics are coherent to his lifes expererencies and those outside are hard pressed to discover.

  18. Heopful

    OMG I FUCKIN LUV ASAP SOCKY

  19. lion zion

    This song is about riding a motorcycle at night. Just explained​ from such a brilliant persons piont of view. So heavy.

  20. Damon ODell

    Who still listening in 2017? What an important piece of music 10/10

  21. Lawrencski

    You know it's a good song when you put it on repeat cause the jewels this guy drops fly over people's head

  22. davis beck

    seeing Aesop tomorrow night and I hope he plays this

  23. farah dcb

    this is beyond rap

  24. Hey Gorby

    THIS TRACK IS PRETTY GOOD EH???!!

  25. Micha DG

    Lyrics:

    [Verse 1]
    Baseheads locally approach all spark plugs
    Total disregard for a dying man's shark jump
    Post-meridiem pretty tungsten attracts any once—pale horse painted gunmetal black
    Face masking, hard-shelled ebony propeller hat
    Clubmans, gloved rakes grappling the clutch span
    Tuck go the steel toe, metal gate spreading
    For the dead-alive that rented parking space 37
    2000 out the weekly under "Cycles to Gehenna" gets him floating over 20 busses
    Fireproof and festive
    Corners like a two-tired tiger so a too-tired rider can accumulate a few excited fibers to assign
    Knows no zen in the art of maintenance
    Only as the orchestrated patron saint of changing lanes baby
    Here is how a great escape goes when you can't take your dead friends names out your phone

    [Hook]
    Eyes and teeth, new moon on a scale that defies belief
    Outside what our fundamental sciences teach, every other mighty lion asleep
    Gangway - mine eyes, mine teeth
    [Verse 2]
    The man-ape translates glam thru the visor
    Goes in water lillies
    Am-scrays Giger, and man—ray
    Crammed in a one-player campaign
    Blinker like a hallowed bonfire over Samhain
    Span where the praying hands mandate
    Bars an extension of the arms
    They're mutating instead of being farmed
    Tonight beneath a marmalade venus
    Haunted mowers chewing every glowing yard of mud between us
    Going Ford, Jag, Datsun, Corvette, Lotus
    All cones you can slalom when your Zorlac's focused
    Via mechanical Dartmoor Frankensteined poorly
    And sanctioned by a New Yank Yorkee
    Who knew that any moment he could lose it to the decopaged suicide flooring
    And still he keep his fuel tank portly, the 30 odd year old gears thank charlie
    The scarf thank Mom's new hobby, kssssht! copy

    [Hook]
    Eyes and teeth, new moon on a scale that defies belief
    Outside what our fundamental sciences teach, every other mighty lion asleep
    Gangway - mine eyes, mine teeth

    [Verse 3]
    It was less of an act of hubris
    More a lonely hearts club at the helm of a magic bullet
    Away on a relentless bid for rarefied inertia
    Rattletrap forks married to the patchy terra firma Ursa Minor getting warmer
    I crowbar into the pecking order
    The dreck between the whores and Betty Ford-ers
    Hug a double yellow spine
    Knobby rubber like a rat on a rope
    Those little fuckers run on passion alone
    This is the product of a d.i.y. inadequate home
    Grabbing a cabin in the-fuck-outta-dodge
    Actin' a savage in the shadows of Rome
    Traffic amassed against insufferable odds
    Fashioning gallows out of plastic and bone
    I got the motordrome walls of death splintering under me
    All-city galvanized bikes white knuckling
    Bright light, tunnel kings tuck in the devil
    PS - I wrote this on a self-destructing memo...

    Hindrance

    In the hook, i thought he says "Gangway - mind eyes, mind teeth"

  26. expert

    I just can't get over this song. It's been four years and I still come back,

    V00iD Less

    Patrick Maley me too, there‘s no day where i hear Aesop Rock

  27. G Ing

    ace's delivery of "2,000 out the weekly, under cycles to Gehenna" really stands out to me. its something about that line that gives me chills

  28. TheElevatr

    An excellent example of something entirely constructed with methaphor.

    Ash Fs

    Pale horse painted gunmetal black

    Three metaphors in four words

  29. SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    this video and song is beautiful asf aes is a god

  30. Robert Zaha

    goin' ford, jag, DATSUN, corvette, lotus!

  31. SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    whoever made this beat omg I would marry him/her this song is so godly I fucking cherish aesop fr he's the most lyrical rapper to ever live

    Jason McFarlane

    Aesop produced the album himself.

    SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    @Jason McFarlane oh shit I want him to produce my shit

  32. saeps

    Deep song, About Gehenna, a place in Jerusalem where they dump bodys and garbage and such. This man dies in a bike crash and is carried to Gehenna by the ballerinas.

    Ash Fs

    Nah It's just a song about a guy riding his bike through the city

    Shen Agüeybaná II

    Biker riding through hell.

  33. Chase Short

    what was the bike in the vid?

    SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    looks like kowasaki (however u spell it)

  34. Jason Burner

    Noel, I agree.  He is def an intellectual artist without a question and he has a very unique and awesome voice that draws you in and that's what I love most about his sound.  Lyrically, he is just in another dimension that we basically can't understand because its his dimension.  It gives imagination what he raps about.

    SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    no truer words been spoken

  35. Lunga Mgqatsa

    The last verse always gets me.

  36. contracide

    and thats with vice!

  37. Waifu

    Song is good, comments are cancer

    V00iD Less

    Lucy Because why?

  38. jerd

    Damn I love this album

  39. J S

    This is hard!!!!! Goes in.... man this dude should write a book. He has a way with words like I have never heard. Since Float.

    Chase Short

    +jacob sekgwama this fallen angel can stitch a wing with a shoe string..

    J S

    I float when everyone around me is busy drowning

    SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    +jacob sekgwama so I heard y'all wanna float

  40. Flugruger Airlines

    I have no words to express my feelings about this. I´m just thankful that i can watch this from now on, whenever i want, for the rest of my life.

  41. Xanwiththatlean

    Long Live Aesop

  42. noel cruz

    I honestly feel like I'm not intelligent enough to understand Aesop's lyrics and that sucks. He's my favorite lyricist and I can't even decipher his music into a cohesive message or intent.

    Dwight Lee

    @phantombread  Good point. When I made that original comment, I admit, I just began to delve into the world of Aesop. Since then I've explored much more, and I must say right you are. Grace is pretty good but a few songs with a more immediately cohesive stories are, Nine to fivers anthem, Ruby '81, Daylight, and take me to the basement. A good "starter kit" so to speak, for people just getting into him. after that move into the more abstract stuff. I must agree as well, his collaborative works are much more immediately digestible.

    The Mother-Faga

    +Kenny Sullivan I would throw ZZZ Top and Pacman Victory on that list too.
    Btw, I heard Danny Brown wrote down every word of an Aesop album (I think it was Labor Days) years back to decipher it

    b veencamp

    The biggest thing is understanding that aesop speaks almost entirely in metaphors. He will never just come out and say whats going on. You just need to listen to it and allow his words to paint a picture for you mentally. Allow one metaphor to transform into another and soon enough you will be able to follow what he's trying to trully say.

    Collin Garchar

    This songs about riding a motley cycle through downtown

    Flea

    Keep listening, you arent meant to understand after one sitting. Kinda like those books that have to be read 5 times before you catch that one little detail that ties the whole novel together. Ill give you this much though, he hates money but he doesnt like being broke. He doesnt like being around people but he doesnt like being alone. He thinks we dont need phones and we should go back to a simpler time. Aes is like the epitome of our inner child, hes trying to explain through coded lyricism what led him to be jaded so we can remember what its like to live without rules or premeditated expectations. "Outside of what fundamental sciences teach"

  43. Erik Osborn

    Straight uncanny!!!

  44. Beretta249

    I want to find this guy promising me "the secret to getting a Ferrari for free" and stab him in the fucking face 'til I forget why I started.

  45. soitbegins

    I feel like underrated isn't enough to describe this guy.

    Jenssen

    Disagree,he is rated very highly by most who knows about him. Not being world famous doesn't necessarily make you underrated.

    SBB STRICTLY BOUT BUSINESS

    +lieedd fax

    Phil Th. Pig

    Joe Lally of Fugazi called one of his solo albums "Nothing is underrated" and this is exactly what I think. If you create great art there will always be people to appreciate it a lot. You just can't expect to have many of them, that's on a completely different page.

    najeTV

    "remarkable, but un-marketable..." - Aesop Rock

  46. possiblyjeffdunham

    Lyrical god

  47. Goodmusic210

    If anyone ever wondered what "next level" sounded like.....

  48. clrkkdd12

    Mmmm...nice beat. Aesop 's style, lyrical content , ect. IS DIFFERENT. Hmmmm. The cats nice but just because you know man worlds don't mean you smart Albert Einstein was considered a genius and he didn't have to use every word in Webster's Dictionary( I'm not saying it all you have to dumb down You Lyrics to be appealing even know seems like hip hop is dying I'm not saying you gotta come down you lyrics to be hot) he's nice but different he's not appealing to me or original demographic that hip hop came from who it was made for I can just tell by the post the cats nice but different I don't know definitely has his own lane...... Yeah he's in his own lane and he's doing his thing......... the cats & nice very different

    brandon spark

    Didn't get any of that.... Like at all

    Bartholomule01

    @clrkkdd12 This is a bad analogy at best. There is no reason for Albert Einstein to use every word in the dictionary to get his genius across. A mastery of diction is not inherent to being a mathematician or a scientist.

    I will bring up Shakespeare who's genius is recognized through his writing and diction. Not only did he use the dictionary to it's full extent, it wasn't enough for him. He coined many words and phrases through his plays and actually in the long run made the dictionary larger.

    On another note, if Hip-Hop was exactly the same as the way it was when it started, it would likely have not made it the 40 some-odd years it's been around. The reason Hip-Hop still exists today is because it changes overtime to appeal new generations of people. Hip-Hop back in the late 70's and early 80's was completely sample based instrumentally, had a specific kind of vocal style and flow (one that you NEVER hear being used today) and was very specifically party music. So yeah, Aesop Rock is not appealing to the early 80's Hip-Hop heads (who are now thirty years older than they were) and really, no one else is appealing to them either.

    Panda Bear

    +Bartholomule01 Preach!

  49. James Rone

    My favorite rapper.  Say what you will.  He is utterly unique.  

    Benjamin Davila

    +James Rone, "utterly unique" describes it wonderfully. The popular "em-cees" these days can't hold a candle to Aes's flow.

  50. James Dorman

    i finally started looking up aesop's lyrics on rapgenius. my mind is blown

    Demipimp

    James Dorman It's so much going on

    Alex Rubino

    Art is supposed to make you feel something.

    atariDC_

    Imo he leveled up on this album

    Alex Macdon

    rap genius has done him no justice. They only annotate with a single sentence when Aes’s shit is way deeper than just being deciphered into one thing

  51. My Mom

    Was this in a car commercial or something?

    Michael•J•S•

    @Trevor Brosiedon no more words please.

  52. Chas Puleo

    Just dope.

  53. Jakub Pajer

    Great music and video.

  54. ergman

    Mmm. This song in particular has the instrumentals to back up the amazing words

  55. Joe Holdreith

    https://soundcloud.com/lalaruga/i-dont-usually-speak-so-i-had-to-show-you-niggas

  56. Dustin DeBolt

    Tonight beneath a marmalade Venus
    Haunted mowers chewing every glowing yard of mud between us

  57. Dustin DeBolt

    Aes is just...there are no words. No one comes close..the mic' has been dropped. 

  58. Arlo Higgs

    great video to a great song.....aesop is the best.

  59. Amanda Crockett

    Touches my soul. I meditate to this

  60. hollywoodraptor0016

    This song should go down in history as one of hip hop's best.

  61. J Webster

    Sick.. Just too fuckin sick.. Stendhal Syndrome, Aes is the man.

  62. Emmanuel Ferreira Puigmarti

    This song is too fucking good, until 2:48, then it becomes shit

    Neyonius

    @***** Personally after 2:50 is my favorite part of the track.

    Ashton thornton

    @***** Dude he made a typo. What he meant to say was, "This song is too fucking good, until 2:48, then it becomes the shit." 

    zantam321

    That's the best part.

    ninthjake

    That's the part I like the best out of the whole song. I wish he would take it and make a whole song of it :)

  63. TurboBaggins

    I wish the video represented the theme of the song more, I'm not really sure what is trying to be conveyed with the ballerinas in black, seems like the song is about a stunt rider with a disregard for life, or feels most alive when close to death? I don't really find the video sequence interesting in any way. The Zero Dark Thirty video at least uses an interesting concept and filming. This is one of the best songs on the album in my opinion, which is why I even say anything... I generally don't think most people, including me, have the right to criticize the work an artist of his skill. Maybe I am expecting too much? It's just his music and messages are so much better than this weak filming.

    pdxfpvomgkthx

    I very much doubt Aesop has a direct hand in the videos, though he probably signed off on the idea. Seems pretty high budget. Probably got a bigger but safer director. Check out Jonathan from Hail Mary Mallon, his side project. He's still doing very, very creative stuff, just with less production.

    conquerthemonotone

    The "dark" ballerinas represent a motorcycle, you idiot. How they are dangerous but move with grace, weaving in & out of traffic, spinning through the streets in a form of beauty. The song is entirely about losing yourself and an escape from reality while testing mortality on a piece of metal & rubber amidst society all around...

    TurboBaggins

    @conquerthemonotone So, i'm an idiot because I interpreted the role of characters in a music video differently than you? Why is your interpretation of the ballerinas or the song the correct one? Are you Aesop? Are you the film maker? Did you work on this film, or write the script? The ballerinas could have nothing to do with story of song, or maybe one of them represents the woman that drove the rider to be so reckless? They could be be a metaphor for the motorcycle, like you said.

    Only an idiot would be so egocentric to assume that their interpretation is the only correct one, especially when it comes to someone else's art.

  64. MrMalicious

    Aesop really proved to be a hell of a producer on this album.

    Ego def

    MrMalicious5 impossible kid even more so

    Micah Barnes

    He's been producing his own music the entire time with the exception of a few songs. Ever heard Cat Food, or Bug Zapper? Personally Labor Days is the earliest I can listen to. Find anything older a bit grating.

  65. CrAcKeRsNbEaNs

    Hip hop

  66. Tsunami_Lukas

    I can't get enough of this track

  67. Mylene Mary

    Excellent

  68. noel cruz

    It almost hurts to know how underrated Aesop Rock is.

    Micah Barnes

    @Alejandro M. Guadarrama you're actually incorrect about that, my dude. Shakespeare wasn't just some average dude until he died. He just became more celebrated after death. Just like every person.

    Alejandro M. Guadarrama

    @Micah Barnes Never said he was just an average person, I said he was thought to be just another poet during his time. You quite literally said I'm wrong, and then you just rephrase what I said, my dude.

    Micah Barnes

    @Alejandro M. Guadarrama I literally have no recollection of leaving that comment, but I'm sure what I meant was that even in his life he was one of the most celebrated play writers of his time. However after he died he was even more celebrated. His plays were often put on for royalty, and nobility. He was not seen as any other writer in his life, and then as incredible afterwards. That is an incorrect statement.

    Muscle Hank

    @Micah Barnes

    j

    Andy Broberg

    Good point. Imagine how he will be seen in future generations. I knew an English professor who I turned Aesop rock onto. Initially I showed her lyrics and she asked me who the poet was.

  69. kerpan

    That last minute gives me some serious goosebumps.  I wish there was a full track with that beat.

  70. HOW TO RAP

    Aesop Rock was interview in the book series, *HOW TO RAP* and *HOW TO RAP2*. He shared many of his rapping techniques. In this quote he tells us how he uses symbols to write down his lyrics.
    "I have a little system of symbols and shit—I think a lot of people
    do, that I’ve seen. I thought I was crazy, and then when
    I started seeing other rappers, everyone has their own little
    symbols. I have a system of maybe ten little symbols that I use
    on paper that tell me to do something when I’m recording."

  71. Inbread Pug

    hip hop is poetry. 

    jamie fleming

    "Girl got a big booty, call her big booty"

    -Tauheed "2 Chains" Epps

    Dualshock Destroyer

    @jamie fleming That's a product, not poetry.

    Jamyan cocco

    Thats how the great escape goes when you cant take your dead friends name out your phone

  72. MrKimbosabi

    For me, hip hop at it's best. This man is an amazing artist!

  73. Jack Mythos

    Probably my biggest influence 

  74. Wraith Timid

    Man it's sad that this doesn't have more views. Aesop Rock is fuckin awesome.

  75. Turdsplosion

    woahhahhah GESTALT

  76. ItCameFromMyBasement

    Well put man, it's about the whole, not the sum of it's parts.

  77. ItCameFromMyBasement

    God's Smart Juice.

  78. Kill Tony

    I think Daylight/Nightlight is the best, but that's just me. All of his tracks are amazing, though, no doubt.

  79. selfcensorship

    That's my point...context, wit and specific wording in prose may be lost on you, but that could just be an assumption on my part.

    The meaning of the chorus in "Cycles to Gehenna" was meant to have a specific edge for a reason. It was the right wording and tone to convey the message...no more, no less.

    Just because you know what the lyrics are doesn't necessarily dictate you grasp what they mean at any given moment.

    Otherwise you'd realize liking or disliking the chorus is irrelevant... ^_^

  80. c. pza

    dafuq are you smoking dude?

  81. selfcensorship

    But that is merely a question of taste. We all know what opinions are like...everyone seems to have them.

    Kid Aesop here is very big on enunciation. The tone is very specific to articulate. Let it wash you over like a good painting, wash down like good drink. Take time to think...

    'cause if you understand what is said, there was no other way to say it and/or relay it.

    To connect, what to expect to resonate in my cranial so as not to forget.

    Edgeways, edgewise so the idea doesn't die ^_^

  82. Make art not war 74

    True art...

  83. c. pza

    I said that I can't stand it, not that I can't understand it.

  84. c. pza

    But I do understand it, I just don't like the way it sounds.

  85. 00999marko

    the chorus is incredible :))

  86. selfcensorship

    It's because you don't understand the chorus... ^_^

  87. TheWindfull

    Amazing - This dudes on some other sh....... Hes mad different unique.
    Also feeling abstract styles from
    EL-P, Sage Francis, Saul Williams, Death Grips, AllFlaws

  88. MrKushinator420

    gangway, mine eyes, mine teeth.

  89. opiateEP

    I just had the beer shits in my pants now think fast

  90. danielmarkwright

    Perfect track, you just have to be able to understand where he's coming from. It's all futile, he knows.

  91. WLG1

    hate the snare

  92. Angel Guerra

    Cant take your dead friends name out your phooone

  93. rahusgem

    ". . . parking space 37 . . ."

  94. Ax Tekk

    Poverty bro, walking around with shitty gear eating shitty food that's not been kept properly. Also excellent word play because a black jack in this context is a weapon (the narrator is unsafe and worried) but also a type of sweet, meaning it's just another form of sustenance for the speaker. Maybe a stick up kid? Maybe just a kid who gets bothered a lot and needs protection?

  95. Vlashchenko

    Eating shit food and having stuff in need of repair speaks to poverty, and the gummybears leaking onto a blackjack (which is a blunt weapon) present a dichotomy of childhood and violence. Looking at those two sentences alone, I imagine a young runaway eating in a diner, nervous about getting abducted/raped/killed on the road. /shrug

  96. Zebulun5

    "Fumes" and "The Harbor is Yours" are stories too. But yeah, with Aesop it's mostly about his verbosity and flow, which are pretty much second to none

  97. Zebulun5

    This song was perfect up until 2:50, then it got frickin BETTER.

  98. ColdProductAisle9

    OMG I love this song especially the hook