Apathy is back with yet another example of his dark, brooding and brutal best, this time over the perfect sonic landscape created by Stu Bangas. ‘King Of Gods. No Second‘ really puts Ap back into his ‘Pharaoh’ grind as he perfectly balances his internal monologues, teaching, bravado and street poetry while being authentic, engaging and flawless in his delivery and beat choice. This album is more than just Ap and Stu being brilliant at what they do, a killer lineup of emcees that have carved out careers by slaughtering microphones has been assembled and it’s high calibre bars for days!

This album has been something like THREE YEARS in the making, and you can really tell that a lot of time, thought and effort has gone into the project. There is NO filler, and the album is curated to perfection as it draws you in, beats you around the head a bit and then spits you out, but leaves you wanting another listening experience almost immediately. Stu Bangas pushes the boundaries of the boom bap sound, still bring the robust, dark, heavy hitting drum work, but introducing so many beat changes, clever use of guitars and anyone who can use ‘Take On Me’ and make a hardbody, brutal ANTHEM deserves their props. Apathy never misses lyrically, but even he has really increased his vocab, content and his passionate delivery. The pairing has come together to bring the best out of each other through their chemistry, synergy and passion for hip hop as an artform. And ‘King Of Gods. No Second‘ is a masterpiece.

The Kingdom Of God‘ uses a soundbyte intro to set the tone, before it’s straight into the head nodding beats and Apathy giving us a taste of the wordplay that’s about to transpire as he raps like a man possessed. Pharoahe Monch teams up with Ap for ‘Malediction‘ which has a heavy guitar influence and is a brilliant blend of AOTP and Th1rt3en with is dark, brooding energy pulsating throughout before ‘Green Olives‘ which has the diversity of a charcuterie board with it’s haunting vocals, it’s melodic drums and dainty keys taking you on an audio experience few could narrate better than Ap.

The menacing ‘No Time To Waste‘ features Ap delivering some big, boastful bars which are balanced out by the slick talk from Jadakiss and a catchy hook, then it’s ‘Cry‘ which has a dope soulful, use of a Slick Rick vocal and more lounge-based beats from Stu and intropsective spit from Apathy. The triumphant horns (and strings) provide quite the entrance on ‘Face Down‘ featuring Sick Jacken where both emcess take the gloves off and just deliver a verbal beat down and a warning to adversaries. Now, ‘Disgusting‘ is INSANE. This is one of the more interesting production efforts in recent memory, transferring an iconic pop song into a filthy, gritty, hip hop BANGER that is blessed with some of the dopest bars from Apathy and lyrical legend Black Thought. I had to run this joint back immediately before listening to the rest of the album because it was such an interesting and heinously haunting track. And the cuts…. oh the cuts…. impeccable.

Draw Blood‘ feels like a blaxploitation soundtrack to a horror movie, with a balance of brutality and funk! Esoteric brings the fire and Apathy matches that hardbody energy, delivering unyielding lyrical prowess that demolishes your headphones. Another more ‘upbeat’ vibe can be found on ‘One Man Army‘ but don’t expect Ap to take the foot off the gas when it comes to explosive verbal delivery – he’s at his focused and lethal best before ‘MK Ultra‘ featuring Celph Titled just blows the door off the hinges with it’s heavy handed horror stories. The final track ‘The Devil’s Frequency‘ features RJ Payne, and talk about fighting until the final bell! This is one heavy hitting track that rocks you with it’s ‘melt your face off bars’ from both Payne and Apathy. It’s crazy.

Bangers: Disgusting, The Devil’s Frequency, Malediction, Green Olives, MK Ultra, No Time To Waste.

Score: 10 / 10. There is nothing wrong with this album, in fact it’s even more than that, it’s an album that goes above and beyond when it comes to getting things right. We’ve spoken about it, but Stu Bangas should explode after creating this sonic masterpiece of intricate and interesting instrumentals. Apathy has never taken a bar off, and not only is his wordplay and bar work on point, his delivery and flow is so ruggedly polished it should be illegal. The features are first class and add value to the album without overpowering or outshining, and from start to finish it has your attention. And loads of replay value.

raw side hip hop logo

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!