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Apathy, Honkey Kong

Connecticut rapper Apathy is an underground mainstay, from founding backpacker-favorite supergroup Demigodz to his work in Army of Pharaohs and Get Busy Committee. With his third album, Honkey Kong, Ap delivers another classicist East Coast record that takes advantage of his flair for Big L-style wordplay.

“Never Say Never” is a fun throwback to ’90s dancehall-rap fusion with invigorated verses from Mad Lion and Smif-N-Wessun’s General Steele. Apathy’s lyrical wizardry and adherence to true school principles grate at times, but his humour and self-awareness keep the record going. “Check To Check” is a funny, relatable take on the broke-rapper trope as Ap semi-brags, “I radiate being broke, you almost see me glow/I’m the Incredible Hulk of blowing money, fa sho”.

The production line-up is impressive, with beats from Statik Selektah, DJ Muggs, Evidence, and Apathy himself. Sadly, the DJ Premier produced “Stop What Ya Doin” is underwhelming, a rock-infused production that deviates from Prem’s normal golden touch—though Celph Titled kicks an enjoyably goofy verse. Honkey Kong’s standout songs come when Ap touches on topics beyond his verbal superiority: “Peace Connecticut” pays affectionate tribute to Ap’s home state over a mellow Beatminerz concoction, complete with a perfect Raekwon sample. “1.52 AM” showcases Ap’s storytelling ability as he narrates a break-in from three perspectives. Despite a few redundant tracks and a lack of cohesion, Honkey Kong paints a good picture of the impressive output Apathy is capable of in 2011. —Aaron Matthews

  • Eon07

    I had this album on constant replay. Apathy kept it real with his style on this one and i feel he made up for what Wanna Snuggle was lacking. Shit is dope!

  • jfl11

    in before Game fanboys start crying foul how this got a higher grade than R.E.D.

    • Game

      Nah, it’s all good. Real fans of hip-hop know that R.E.D. is a classic… Who gives a fuck how it was reviewed by some bitch ass journalist ?

      • jfl11

        says homie w/ the “Game” username. you dont see the big picture fam.

      • jmz

        get off from games dick! lol @ Real fans of hip-hop know that R.E.D. is a classic

  • WAWA

    Reppin’ CT!

  • JD

    To the fag talking about Game’s album being a classic, go play in traffic, your mom should have aborted you…CT stand up!

  • D.R.Y.G.

    BOUT time xxl showed love to a underdog!!! nothing but respect to Apathy, he put out a great album

  • http://MYSPACE.COM HELTAH SIN SAY

    get off honkey kongs dick!! same rules apply, the red cd is what a real studio cd should sound like! not the homies tascam 24 track!! Interscope against???? wtf?? the problem with todays market is motherfuckers think they have quality sounding songs just cause they went to guitar center and coped a portible studio! I heard the honkey kong cd, and its alright, its not a the red album! first honkey kong needs to capture the world!! then you could defend him, until then hes just a nobody ! feel me! underground dudes , stop bitchin yall niggas still bitchin about how real you keep it??? its all about record sales bitch! what? you rappin on your own dime makes you greate? hahahahhaha ok ” if your really dope why aint you signed yet” thats a famous back packer quote, from the ulitmate back packer!!

    • Don Con

      Apathy a “nobody?” You gotta be kidding me. This dude’s been wrecking mics and touring worldwide for years. I wish cats would get their heads out of the fucking sand and take a look around every now and then. You might find something dope.

    • Briiian

      All record sales show is how stupid the majority of people in this world are concerning their taste in music. That has absolutely nothing to do with Hip-Hop, or music in general. There are PLENTY of awful artists/albums that sell a ton, I mean, look at Kanye West. How did he ever even sell a single song?

    • ZD3

      You’re the reason Nas’s words are so true. This bitch is dead because motherfuckers like you feel and album like R.E.D. is superior to Honkey Kong. That’s a complete joke. This record has about 24 joints on it, almost all dope. Quality over quantity, cuz, and Ap delivers that. The Game couldn’t ever touch Apathy as far as lyricism. He’s got good joints, but your criticism of one of Underground’s finest as well as the music as a whole is just kinds fucking ignorant to me.

    • jghgfbh

      To quote Immortal Technique…

      So if your message ain’t shit, fuck the records you sold

      Cause if you go platinum, it’s got nothing to do with luck

      It just means that a million people are stupid as fuck

      That about sums up these whack ass fake fucking emcees nowadays (if you even wanna call a bunch of fucking autotuned record exec nut gargling pop singers emcees…)

  • Phuc.Yew

    Apathy a nobody? Dude been ripping up beat since the 90s. You know, when you were still swimming in your dads nutsack! Game = fake ass studio gangster bullshit. Apathy = real deal evander holyfield hiphop! Suck on that little ass mtv kiddies.

  • mike

    Ya man Ap keeps it real fa sho. I know Blacastan who is on a few HK tracks and he’s a real dude. i Fuck with the game also tho

  • DangerDanger

    what a stupid ass review lol at the dude probably never even listened to this album thoroughly and called it XL because its hiphop. fire him!

    There was so much more to this album but i felt like this was a step backward from his wanna snuggle which i feel should have been released now. apathy is still on top of his lyrics.

  • The Verbal Hologram

    this fucken goof called check to check funny……dumbass and Production was on POINT. AP is one of the best MCs out this album was ill

  • anonymous

    Ran into people talking about this album on Facebook so I bought it…..Now, favorite album of the year….

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