As well as the Run The Jewels sequel, another big hip hop story of late is the very recent drop of a new single from a group who have been absent since their heyday a few years ago. Hail Mary Mallon is made up of New York rappers Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic. Jonathan is their comeback single and the first taste of their second album Bestiary, which is now available for pre-order on iTunes with a November release date.
It follows their 2011 debut album Are You Gonna Eat That? which did its rounds of the underground hip hop scene on its release and raised the group’s profile considerably. With that in mind, Bestiary has been a long time coming and those who love their fierce rhythms and quirky offbeats will welcome Jonathan with open arms. It’s promoted with a very intriguing, kooky video which features tarot cards mixed with playing cards and an array of interesting characters. The group have pushed their tongues firmly in their cheeks and simply said of the video: “Our video for Jonathan was shot on location in an arcade, the forest, the desert, the sky and the ocean. It is the best video you will ever see for our song Jonathan”.
The song follows a simple low-key rhythmic pattern for the most part with both rappers trading verses in a steadfast manner but it does occasionally throw itself off-balance with an electronic aside that give it character. There are plenty of trippy squeaks and kooky electronic spurts that save it from being a straightforward plodding rap track. One thing I really like is the magical mystic theme to the lyrics which is reflected in the video. This isn’t something that is visited much in the hip hop I’ve listened to, which makes a refreshing change for me in terms of subject matter.
Hail Mary Mallon are still a very under-talked about group and Jonathan probably won’t be heard by that many people. However, it is pretty catchy and the video is full of cool tricks that you want to watch over and over again. Have a listen yourself and tell me you don’t want to watch this video again!