Apathy – “Where the River Meets the Sea” review

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.

Score: 4.5/5

Apathy – “The Widow’s Son” review


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.

Score: 4.5/5