Last year, underground rap juggernauts Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman came together to self-release a 5-song EP titled LICE, which featured production from DJ Spinna, Optiks, Alex “Apex” Gale, Fort Miner, and longtime Aesop cohort, Blockhead. The duo toured together offering limited edition vinyl copies of their joint effort during shows, while making the digital version available for download free of charge. Today the pair is releasing LICE 2: Still Buggin’ continuing the free download formula with promise of a vinyl version in the works. This time around, the production is being handled by the likes of Dan Hayden, Mondee, SoberMindedMusiC, RTNC, and Aesop Rock himself. Both of the EPs feature cover art by fellow Aesop Rock collaborator, San Francisco-based artist, Jeremy Fish.
Back when Aesop was still releasing albums through Def Jux, label owner, Jaime “EL-Producto” Meline, was notorious for going through great efforts to put the kibosh on early leaks and the spread of digital albums. Then, in 2013, EL-P pulled a 180 of sorts by releasing his debut effort with Killer Mike as Run The Jewels for free download. Adapting to an ever-changing industry is essential to remain viable and, just like EL‘s decision to shut down his label in 2010, the idea to give away the album made more sense to him in the current climate. That decision resulted in RTJ becoming one of the biggest faces in rap today and, by trusting the system, the fan base came out in droves to support the project, not only through show attendance and on social media, but by picking up record numbers of the physical release of the album, as well. As the LICE project continues to push out material, perhaps we’ll get a 3rd installment that might result in a full LPs worth of material to be rereleased together as one album. Who knows? For now, you can stream/download both LICE and LiCE 2 below FOR FREE! You can also pick up one of the last few remaining copies of the highly sought after vinyl edition of the first EP via Stones Throw, right now, while they last.
As for making a profit off this thing, Aesop and Sandman would rather you donate to a worthy cause than kick them any loot at this point. The following message comes directly from the respectable gents behind the project.
People of earth –
We are proud to announce our new FREE EP – Lice Two: Still Buggin’ … Should the majesty of free music inspire some charity, here are a couple places we feel your money could do some good:
helpkidscatchfish | skateistan.org
Have a fantastic day – Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman
DOWNLOAD | LICE TWO: STILL BUGGIN’ (360 kbps MP3, zipped)