Apathy - Connecticut Casual: Chapter 2

It’s been nearly a decade since Apathy dropped the first ‘Connecticut Casual‘ project, and although he has dropped a heap of material since then, creating a ‘sequel’ in ‘Connecticut Casual: Chapter 2‘ is always going to be an interesting avenue to take. His first CC project was largely produced by Ap himself, and coming on the back of some monstrous projects like ‘Eastern Philosophy‘ and ‘Honkey Kong‘ may not have been given the same level of respect as those solo projects, but ‘Chapter 2‘ is out to change all that. Ap said himself that this new music is all for him, and The New England Shoreline / Shore Life squad, and this album is testament to that. He is repping Connecticut like people online defend their favourite artist in a chat room beef.

Production wise this project is slapping! Playa Haze is credited for inspiring Ap to really get back to finding excitement and joy in his writing, and the soundtrack to this album is far more nuanced and varied than some of Apathy’s other big-bodied, bully bar projects. It’s modern meets nostalgic and done in a way that honours both eras. And, the styles / intricacies of the production work to complement the stories and themes explored by Ap as he takes the listener on another journey through New England, exposing the good and nefarious through his witty wordplay, well-crafted penmanship and his enthusiastic delivery on the mic.

Connecticut Formal‘ welcomes us into the project with triumphant horns and Apathy jumps right in with his energetic tales, painting a picture with the bars of life in CT. ‘Hammond Court Kids‘ is a more melancholic production with deep drums and almost haunting intricacies which mirrors the more sinister content Ap is spitting, before ‘No One Can Hear You Scream In Space‘ gets the head nodding with a light, dusty-drum filled track and soulful vocals and hook seeping through the headphones while Ap just gets busy with his otherworldly pen. Those extra-terrestrial sounds are so delicate and well-placed – it’s perfect.

The super smooth sample on ‘Vacation‘ is delightful, as it flows over the understated and subtle drums. This track is powerful though, as Apathy gets introspective and speaks to some moments that shaped his life growing up, which makes the hook all the more compelling. ‘Jackie O‘ once again sees Apathy speak on the Kennedy family saga, and not only is the concept cleverly delivered, the somewhat 60’s sounding lounge music transports the listener back to the black and white era. The trumpet infused ‘Fenwick‘ continues that soul/funk vibe as Ap takes aim at the borough he grew up in, talking about boats, fishing and other more nefarious adventures.

Little Vic joins Apathy for ‘Never Change‘ but don’t let the super smooth score fool you, this joint is home to some super heavy and hardcore bars from the emcee as he let’s everyone know that he’s bigger, better and ready to take this year over. The dial is set all the way to groove on ‘Around The Planet‘ as your head is forced to nod melodically while Ap gets busy on the mic, then the energy lifts on ‘Easy $‘ which still keeps some really triumphant horns and strings but this sounds more like a superhero theme song and Ap attacks this with a vibrant energy, and the use of the Slick Rick sample is insane!

Speaking of superheros, we move on to the single ‘Todd McFarlane‘ which is that banging joint featuring Celph Titled that pays homage to the famous illustrator / writer (and cover artist for Swollen Members ‘Heavy’ album!) but it gets even darker and more menacing when ‘Kingdom Of The Coroner‘ hits the headphones. This track features gritty production, kick ass Biggie samples and a beat change up – all the while handling the heavy barwork from Ap! The final track ‘Tick Tock Tick‘ brings us full circle as the energy starts to wind down, the beat is stripped back a little more to enhance the deep knowledge that Ap is dropping on listeners. It’s a fitting finale to an album that has taken the listener on an audio adventure.

Apathy says he’s making this music just for himself, and there is certainly a more refined and mature sound and subject matter. He still has a hell of a lot of fun, manipulating the English language, finding diverse ways to speak his tales and talking his social commentary. The production is a beautiful balance, being interesting enough to hold its own during the breaks in Ap’s bars, but also strong enough to bring home the bully bars that Ap sends as sonic missiles! Overall, this a wonderful album. It’s interesting, inspired and one of the dopest releases in 2024.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!