While it wasn’t quite as long as the wait for his first album, Apathy [click to read] sure does seem to enjoy making his fans long for his next project. Three years after Eastern Philosophy [click to read], Apathy arrives with Wanna Snuggle, just his second (official) solo album in a career that has lasted over a decade. And while some fans may respond quizzically to the album’s title, take it from Ap – “this is just some Rap shit.
“Money Oriented” flips a sample from AZ’s classic verse on “Life’s A Bitch” masterfully. Naturally, the track has a fantastic early-’90s feel. Apathy is aided by Emilio Lopez here, and both flow smoothly over the instant-vintage cut. “Gov’t Cheese” has a bit of a blaxploitation feel, and while the cut lasts only 1:34, Ap uses the time wisely with his ferocious rhymes. “On And Off the Mic” features little more than a snare drum and a bass line, but the minimalist production amplifies the lyrical prowess of the Demigodz rapper and Blacastan.
Wanna Snuggle falters for the first time with “Back In L.A.” With pedestrian lines like “White girls like drugs and they still rock Uggs,” in addition to incessant chipmunk Soul that serves no purpose other than to annoy, one can’t help but think this could’ve been left off of the album. “Shoot First” [click to listen] benefits from stellar B-Real [click to read] and Celph Titled guest spots, but “I’m a Demigod” [click to listen] fails to distinguish itself meaningfully.
“True Love” [click to listen] featuring Phonte [click to read] of Little Brother has made many fans’ short list for track of the year, and it’s not too hard to see why. The song deals with a problem that has befallen many a Hip Hop head – being in a relationship with someone that just doesn’t understand the culture. “I wanna find a perfect mate who know about The Purple Tape / A lot of bitches perpetrate, imper-per-per-per-personating / Something that’s real, something that’s raw / Something that the neighbors can hear right through their walls / John Lennon and Yoko, Jesus and Mary Magdalene / Something very passionate, love you like I loved my Starter jacket / Back in sixth grade, walked with a switch and got a switch blade / A badass chick can turn your badass bitch-made / I want a ‘Gangsta Bitch’ like Apache says / Who raps like Lauryn Hill did on ‘Nappy Heads‘” As great as Apathy’s verse is, it’s Phonte that comes up with the best line: “So I’m chilling with this fashionista / Watching VH1 Soul on the couch lamping / They show ‘Slam’ by Onyx and she asked / ‘Ay baby, when did the guy from Moesha start rapping?’”
“Thinkin’” is a hilarious assessment of overtly-jealous girlfriends, and while “Candy” clearly brims with self-satisfaction regarding its clever execution, one can’t go wrong with the excellent sample and drum loop. The album ends with an extraordinary one-two punch of “Slave” and “Victim.” For the former, Ap waxes over eerie production that sounds like it could’ve ended up on a Dr. Octagon [click to read] album. For the latter, Apathy puts on his storytelling cap as he spins a tale of the creation of a killer. It’s hard to tell who’s the real star on “Victim” – Apathy or Holly Brook, a songstress whose chorus will haunt you almost instantly.
While it has its fair share of outstanding cuts, Wanna Snuggle’s shares the same flaw as any album with 21 tracks – too much filler, and not enough focus. The latter is especially a problem, because it appears, at times, that Apathy has no discernable direction (how do “Victim” and “Back in L.A.” make the same album?). Some tracks could have easily been cut. “Guys & Girls,” while not awful, essentially serves no purpose on an album that already has “True Love.” “Run, Run Away” is uncharacteristically saccharine, and “Top Billin’” sample or no, there’s no excuse for its inclusion. As it stands, Wanna Snuggle falls short of spectacular, but it is a memorable addition to not only Apathy’s catalog, but any head’s collection as well.