It’s been a long time coming for Demigodz co-frontman Apathy. After a string of incredible 12’s, a couple incarnations of the Bootleg CD and a mixtape, the king of Connecticut drops the ‘don’t-hold-your-breath’ Eastern Philosophy. This indy debut is completely different than the version he a couple years back, but a deal with Atlantic (ie. red tape), delayed the release and sent Ap back to the lab to cook up some new marvelous shit.
Where most rappers would’ve just made a few new songs, Ap made a whole new album. And I do mean an album. Clearly a student of the early 90’s, Ap bleeds all 13 tracks together to create a consistent vibe colder than an East coast winter. To no surprise, the LP’s closer and lead single “The Winter” captures that better than any other track. Ap hooks up with former Wu collaborator Blue Raspberry to bring the feel of a dreary, sub-zero winter day on wax. If ever there were a winter anthem to bump when the windows are up and the defroster is on, this is it. Ap may be one of the best shit talkers in the game today, but much like this single he keeps a strong focus on nearly every song and brings a variety of subjects to the table. After the ill intro and title track (a true introduction in every sense of the word), he lets lose on the appropriately titled “1000 Grams.” Ap basically just brings the pure, uncut shit like “flows fracture foe’s flak jackets and rip fabric/a rap addict badder than you backpack faggots/Ap’s a beast, the cake’s like crack streets/swear that you deep but you can’t rap on beat”.
From there, Ap gets to showing off his range and runs the gamut; an ode to criminology? Check (“It’s All About Crime”). The bullshit of 9 to 5’s complete with Jigga “Can I Live” vocal sample? Check (“9 to 5”). Trifling-ass female problems (this time due to a certain time of the month)? Check (“One of Those Days”). Dedication to the homies doubling as a posse cut? Check (“Me & My Friends”). Feel-good back in the day cut? Check (“I Remember”). Conceptual cut that dissects some shit no one has really tackled before? Check (“Chemical” and “The Buck Stops Here”). On the former, he delves into the role of all the chemicals that run our lives; “additives, preservatives add to my nervousness/bad when it surfaces, the madness is murderous/it’s chemical…/back when I was little an’ they had me on riddlen/I was chillin’, literally, zombie-type feelin'”. On “The Buck Stops Here,” Ap follows the life of a greenback from a strippers panties to the money in your birthday card.
The best part is, no matter what Ap touches here, he slays it with his own flare and a rarely matched technical ability. Check his flow and rhyme scheme on “Doe Raker Check.” That shit is just fucking ridiculous. Plus on top of the consistent and dope production he gets straight A’s in the Primo school of hooks, littering the album with scratched vocal samples from Big, Jay and Lauryn Hill to Buckshot, Milk D and Guru. I can’t deny that part of the reason I love this album so much is because it takes me back to a time in Hip Hop that I miss like you wouldn’t believe. While some may claim Ap isn’t doing anything new, he is doing what he does waaaaaay better than 99% of the emcees in the game today could ever hope to do. Few who grip a mic today can claim the overwhelming talent that this man has.