Apathy - Honkey Kong Review
Posted by Bill Wannop on 08.23.2011
Apathy returns to drop his biggest album to date, featuring production by DJ Premier, Evidence, DJ muggs and guest appearances from Xzibit, Ill Bill Slaine, and Celph Titled. Does Apathy prove that he is one of hip hop’s most slept on artists, or did this Honky Kong just another damn dirty ape?
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Apathy is a rapper from Connecticut who has seen his ups and down in the music business. He was at one time signed to Atlantic Records, where he witnessed firsthand the politics involved in the music business. His debut album was constantly delayed and at the end of the day he parted ways with the label, simply because he could not come to an agreement in terms to the direction his music should take. Apathy decided, in order to have complete control over his sound he would have to stay underground and independent. He has started to garner some attention with his latest album Honkey Kong. The album features some of the top artists and producers in hip hop today, including DJ Premier, Ill Bill, DJ Muggs, Xzibit, Celph Titled and more. Does Apathy prove that he is one of hip hop’s most slept on artists, or did this Honky Kong just another damn dirty ape?
1. Honkey Kong f Vinnie Paz (prod. Vanderslice)
2. Holy Ghost f. Slaine (prod. Apathy)
3. The Villain f. Ill Bill (prod. Apathy)
4. Check to Check (prod. Evidence)
5. Stop What Ya Doin f. Celph Titled (prod. DJ Premier)
6. The Recipe f. Xzibit (prod. Stu Bangas)
7. Fear Itself (prod. DJ Muggs)
8. Who Got Da Juice f. Blacastan (Skit)
9. It’s Only Hip-Hop f. Brevi (prod. Statik Selektah)
10. I Dedicate This To You f. Tosha Makia (prod. Smoke The World)
11. All I Think About f. Action Bronson (prod. Vanderslice)
12. Never Say Never f. General Steele & Mad Lion (prod. Teddy Roxpin)
13. Albino Gorillas f. Esoteric (prod. DJ Wayne Ski)
14. Peace Connecticut (prod. Da Beatminerz, cuts by Evil Dee)
15. Army Of The Godz f. Esoteric, Blacastan, Reef The Lost Cauze, Planetary, Crypt The Warchild, Motive, Celph Titled & Vinnie Paz (prod. Teddy Roxpin)
16. 1:52 AM (prod. Apathy)
Apathy truly takes his hip hop seriously as he set out to make an album that both pays homage to those that came before him, while also trying to advance the genre. He really comes hard in the first track of the album “Honkey Kong” which features Vinnie Paz on the hook. There is a sample from Training Day that starts off the album and right from that moment you get the feeling that this album is going to be ‘in your face’ hip hop. Apathy lets the lyrics fly on the title track rapping, ‘Bring out the apes, the gorillas, the monkeys, and junkies/Half money, half bummy, half genius, half dummy/Dirty slutty , bloody, muddy, filthy fuck buddy/If you stup-y you should study how I’m steady making money/Like I’m Steady B, Freddie Kruger, bald as Lex Luthor/Spark Buddha, pick a public park, become a sharpshooter’.
The flows continue into the next rack which has Apathy on the boards producing a somewhat churchy type beat, which allows him and Slaine to completely destroy their veres. Things get a little more serious on “The Villian” featuring Ill Bill, which has Apathy and Bill rapping basically how everyone can be painted as a Villian. These two tracks really show how far Apathy has come regarding his production, as these two tracks can compete with anything on the rest of the album in terms of production. That is saying a lot considering Apathy got beats from top producers such as Evidence, DJ Muggs and DJ Premier.
Apathy’s first single ‘Check To Check’ is a more slowed down track produced by Evidence and again Apathy is on the serious side, stating how the difficulties of being an underground rapper, as he basically lives check to check. The way Apathy used his lyrics to truly bring you into the track is amazing and it is no wonder that Atlantic Records basically saw him as the next Eminem many years ago.
‘Stop What You Doing’ is produced by DJ Premier, and is a hard record, that will undoubtedly get the crowd going when it is performed live. The beat consists of a heavy guitar riff and features a great sample from the Digital Underground and their ‘Humpty Dance’ in the chorus. The track features Celph Titled and really showcases the chemistry between the two emcees, with the two going back and forth with their lines on the third verse, something that is truly missing when artists perform guest spots nowadays.
Apathy continues to create great, dirty hip op on tracks such as “The Recipe”, where Ap rap ‘You could be the Submariner and never reach this flows depth/ I cobra kai . you can try, get your shin bone swept/ I’m a magician, like egyputians, think of them I temp/ I Slice backyard bullies let Kimbo step/ Its not a birght idea testing if this rhyme’s real/You better off brakdancing through a minefield’. Xzibit joins Apathy on the track and actually sounds the most rejuvenated in terms of rap in years.
Ap touches on fan interaction on the Static Selektah produced “It’s Only Hip Hop”, basically telling fans that when they meet him they should show him respect. As well he tells a story on love growing, being lost and found again on “I Dedicate This To You”, before getting very lyrical with Esoteric on “Albino Gorillas” and giving props to his city on “Peace Connecticut”.
While the album seems to move along at a great pace, there are a couple of areas that slow down Apathy’s momentum, mainly tracks ‘Never Say Never” and “All I Think About” and even then they are not bad tracks, they just do not live up to the rest of the album.
The album ends on a high note, with the posse cut “Army of the Godz” which features members of both the Army of the Pharaohs as well as the Demigodz, Apathy’s two groups. The track is a throwback to older sounding posse tracks, and really it reminds me of some old school Wu-Tang how well the artists mesh and all come correct with the lyrics on their verses.
The final track is somewhat out of left field, but is something that Apathy has done on his previous albums which is to have a dark and twisted track last.. “1:52am” tells a tale of a stalker, the victim and her boyfriend, which features and ironic twist at the end, with Apathy painting a mental picture all the way through the track.
After listening to the album, main people are going to wonder why Apathy has never really been given that much attention before. It is easy to see why Apathy has gotten support from some of hip hops elite, and with this album likely will finally breakthrough and be given the commercial success he deserves.
The 411: Many of hip hop's elite have praised Apathy for years, and this album showed what they were talking about. Apathy created an album that is a throwback to classic hip hop, while aggressively pushing hip hop forward. Top production and guest appearances only add to the album, as Apathy proves that lyrics still matter. While there were a couple tracks that could have been left off the album, Apathy was still able to create a modern undrground classic