I’m an old school/classic era hip hop junkie, straight up. Since Christmas day, 9 years old when I got my JVC boombox with Run DMC & the Fat Boys self-titled debut tapes to go with it, I was hooked for life. The next ten plus years were great to me, but somewhere along the line the game changed, and not for the better. With few exceptions, since the great era of the mid 90′s I’ve been pretty apathetic towards the state of the first love of my life: Hip Hop.

Leave it to an emcee located just 130 some odd miles from the birthplace of hip hop to bring back all thats right about the music. Apathy is that emcee. His third and newest solo release, Honkey Kong┬áharkens back to the old school and follows the can’t miss formula that all too many in the game today miss out on. The production is TIGHT – anchored by heavyweights DJ Premier, Da Beatminerz and Statik Selektah. Never overshadowed by the impeccable production, lyrically Apathy goes straight ape-dookie on Honkey Kong. His cadence and flow ride and complement each beat flawlessly. Apathy also shows great range and dexterity as he is able to flow from his old-school, battle rap style to smoothed out on tracks like “All I Think About”.

Conceptually, Honkey Kong is beast-like. From Denzel’s declaring, “King Kong ain’t got s#%t on me!” on the title track, the simian theme rides throughout-lending itself to great metaphors, references and quips such as, “it’s on like Honkey Kong!”. The greatest achievement of the album for me is Apathy’s ability to tackle real life topics head on. On “Check to Check”, Apathy defines the struggle many have been through coming up, eating Ramen and Little Debbie’s because they were only a quarter. His referring to being like Charlie Buckets gives those familiar with the Willy Wonka character a strong visual to match the lyrical content.

Along with “Check to Check”, the star of the album has to be “The Villian”. Comparing the likes of politicians, police and propaganda professors to Megatron on the villian scale – then exposing their evil hypocrisy with the quip, “then they wanna call me a villian?” is brilliant.

Apathy covers it all, including a smooth, yet still thug dedication to the one who stuck by his side through thick and thin, as well as a proper shout out to his home state in “Peace Connecticut”. Apathy shouts out Connecticut staples such as Stezo and even “Good Ole Tom’s” – by the way, if you don’t know about Good Ole Tom’s, peep the commercials on Youtube.

Honkey Kong excels where others before have failed. Hard banging beats and intelligent, dope lyricism merge to create a masterpiece King Kong himself can’t sleep on–you shouldn’t either. As Ap himself states on “All I Think About” : “See the only thing that’s badder is the ’87 Mattingly, scratch that, bring it back ’011 Apathy!”

Be Sociable, Share!