This is the 8th full-length album from revered Connecticut underground MC/producer Apathy. Emerging only 2 decades back as a member of the Demigodz & the Army of the Pharaohs collectives founded by Open Mic & Vinnie Paz respectively, he was also signed to Atlantic Records at one point even though he eventually left due to creative differences. Since then The Alien Tongue has built up quite the solo discography on his own, with my favorites being Honkey Kong! as well as The Widow’s Son & even his last one Where the River Meets the Sea. But a year & a half later, Ap’s enlisting Boston’s very own Stu Bangas to produce King of Gods. No Second from top to bottom.
“The Kingdom of God” is a spine-tingling boom bap opener with Apathy dropping some imperiling hardcore bars whereas “Malediction” with Pharoahe Monch works in a rap rock instrumental talking about being at their breaking points. “Green Olives” has a more ghostly atmosphere to the production with it’s sample referring himself as the only white boy in the hood à la Han Solo just before Jadakiss tags along for the sinister “No Time to Waste” preparing to become homicidal.
Moving on from there with “Cry”, we have Ap providing a genuinely heartfelt motivational anthem advising that one doesn’t have to shed tears leading into Sick Jacken coming into the picture for “Face Down” returning to the boom bap with some trumpets talking about leaving motherfuckers on the pavement. “Disgusting” with Black Thought finds the 2 over a soul sample referring to themselves as the bullies of the block, but then the Esoteric-assisted “Draw Blood” ruggedly gets on their battle rap shit.
The song “1 Man Army” hooks in a unique vocal loop to declare himself as the villain that we were warned about while the penultimate track “MK Ultra” with Celph Titled sees the dynamic duo over a dusty beat wanting to turn bodies to beef stew. “The Devil’s Frequency” with RJ Payne however finishes the album with both MCs over an uncanny instrumental talking about the holy beast watching both of them.
As personal as Apathy’s last album was & the one before being more centered around Freemasonry, what he & Stu Bangas concoct here is a lot more rawer & only serves as yet another reminder of how consistent that The Alien Tongue has always been as it’s yet another standout in his already-impressive discography. He shows he can effortlessly shine alongside an elite class of greats & the production that Stu cooks up is extremely deadly.
Apathy is a 42 year old emcee/producer from Willimantic, Connecticut coming up just 2 decades back as a member of the Demigodz & the Army of the Pharaohs collectives founded by Open Mic & Vinnie Paz respectively. He was also signed to Atlantic Records at one point, but left due to creative differences. Since then The Alien Tongue has built up quite the solo discography on his own, with my favorites being 2011’s Honkey Kong! & even his previous album The Widow’s Son in 2018. But after years in the making, Ap is finally releasing his 7th full-length outing.
The title track following the “Headwater” intro kicks things off with a glossy tribute to his father & after “The Ocean” interlude, we get some cinematic string sections “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” & the lyrical theme of it was inspired by the opening line off one of my favorite Public Enemy songs “Welcome to the Terrordome”. We go into a more soulful direction with the confrontational “We Don’t Fuck Around” just before Styles P & Lil’ Fame hop aboard the guitar-laced “P.S.E. (Public School Era)”, which conceptually is based around the opening line off the iconic Biggie joint “Party & Bullshit”.
Anoyd & Chris Webby are enlisted for the fittingly aquatic “Underwater” as they spit about slippin’ off the deep end before “River of Light” provides us with a progressively layered instrumental & lyrics proclaiming himself as a King cut from a different cloth. The song “Force Fields” with Pep Love & Tajai finds the trio hopping on an quasi Middle Eastern-inspired beat from Teddy Roxspin letting haters know you can’t break them leading up to the optimistic “A Rainy Day in Connecticut”.
Meanwhile on the Stu Bangas-produced “Mermaid Music”, we get an organ-laced tribute to Ap’s wife whereas the Snak the Ripper-featured “Dream Sequence” goes back into a more orchestral territory as they go in about not wanting to wake up from the dreams they have. And just before “The Mouth” outro, the final song “Remember the Night” reunites with Hayze is a somber depiction of how they always do their deepest thinking at sundown.
I have a tendency to enjoy artists at their most mature & that’s what Ap has done on Where the River Meets the Sea. A couple of the features I could’ve done without but I think his production has only gotten better with time & you can really hear the vulnerability in The Alien Tongue’s voice throughout his performances.
Almost 6 months after the release of Perestroika’s self-titled debut, Army of the Pharaohs & Demigodz member Apathy is at last giving fans his long-awaited 6th full-length album. The opener “The Spellbook” sees Ap spits angry battle bars over a haunting beat & then the next song “CHAOS” brags about his rapping prowess about over a jazzy boom bap beat from Stu Bangas. The track “Never Fall Off” with A.G. sees the 2 talking about their longitivtiy over some glorious strings. The titular song with Ryu gets conscious over a grimy rap rock beat while the track “The Order” is a menacing attack towards his enemies over an grimy boom bap beat from none other than DJ Premier.
The song “Alien Weaponry” raps about his rapping prowess over an eerie Nottz beat & then the track “Hypnosis” sees Ap spitting knowledge over a soulful instrumental. The song “I Keep On” with Pharoahe Monch sees the 2 lyrical beasts battle rapping each other over a Pete Rock instrumental with some keys & a funky bassline. The track “A View of Hell (View from Hell)” gets lyrically murderous over a gritty beat from Buckwild while the track “Fist of the North Star” with Diabolic is a vicious diss to wack rappers over a boom bap/rock fused beat.
The track “Stomp Rappers” with Celph Titled & M.O.P. gets into battle rap mode over a grimy instrumental while the song “Legend of the 3rd Degree” sees Ap giving more knowledge over an ominous beat. The penultimate track “Rise & Shine” with Locksmith talking about killing wack rappers & I love the horns throughout. Also, the soul sample during the hook is beautiful. The album then finishes off perfectly with “Obi Wan”, which is a heart-wrenching tribute to Apathy’s father over a gloomy beat.
It’s been a long time coming, but this might be Apathy’s magnum opus. Of course it’s gonna be angry & rawly produced but conceptually, it’s probably his smartest one yet.