Released: 2022

Features: Blockhead, Lupe Fiasco

That vibing track with Aesop Rock and Lupe Fiasco is “Pumpkin Seeds”, which also features Blockhead. It’s a gripping narrative exploring existential anxieties, introspection, and societal pressures. The lyrics unveil a complex understanding of the human condition through multiple metaphors, questioning the often obsessive pursuit of material goods and cautioning against conforming to societal norms.

The song kicks off with the line “Outside isn’t what it seems”, setting the tone for the listener’s journey into a world filled with illusions and hidden realities. “It seems like nothing up the sleeve/Until it’s something loveless digging holes to cover up with leaves” is a powerful metaphor representing deceit and pretense in society. The reference to ‘pumpkin seeds’ alongside ‘powerball’ and ‘Sunkist peach’ symbolizes simple pleasures and dreams juxtaposed against materialistic goals (powerball being a lottery, representing the pursuit of wealth).

Aesop Rock then paints a picture of late-night reflections, both introspective and socially aware, dealing with unwanted ‘company’ represented in terms such as ‘Ranger, cleric, hunter, thief’. These characters encompass diverse aspects of society, including religious institutions (‘priest’), scam artists (‘huckster’), oppressors (‘usurpers’) or defectors (‘deserters’). The ‘truffle pig noses to catalytic converters’ metaphor alludes to society’s obsession with transforming natural instincts for material gain.

Aesop Rock Pumpkin Seeds

This first verse does not shy away from articulating the struggle of an individual trying to maintain authenticity in a world filled with duplicity. As the chorus suggests, the cycle of deception and disillusionment continues – ‘Inside of the box is just another box.’ Here, Aesop Rock may be critiquing our insatiable pursuit of ‘more’, suggesting that even once we’ve reached what we thought was the end goal (the box), we often find another goal (the second box) waiting for us.

Lupe’s verse continues with vivid imagery and wordplay, referencing Pandora and her box as a metaphor for the chaos and disorder of human existence. He also connects it to the dilemma of hoarding versus discarding, implying that society’s outlook on material possession can become an existential crisis. His play on words, “I don’t I call ’em teeth I call ’em oral coral reefs,” along with “spit fire sword drank / In a speakeasy wrote peace treaties in war paint,” exemplifies successful wielding of language as a tool for mass communication, whilst highlighting the paradoxical nature of human actions.

Overall, “Pumpkin Seeds” offers a profound social commentary on the pressures of societal conformities, the relentless pursuit of materialistic success, and the essence of human existence. Its depth and complexity encourage listeners to unpack layers of meanings, sparking critical thought about the systemic structures that govern our lives.