“Money Orientated” f. Emilio Lopez
“Guys & Girls” f. Blue Rasberry
“This Is The Formula” f. J-Live
This review of Apathy’s forthcoming LP, “Wanna Snuggle?” can also be found at my new home POTHOLES IN MY BLOG (as work’s got my hands tied up pretty tight, I’ll be able to offer more as a contributor over there. Let’s face it, it’s been kinda’ slow around here lately, ehh?) Plus, out of all the blogs out there on the come-up, I truly like the direction in which those guys are headed. Matter of fact, their musical tastes almost mirror mine, making it an easy transition for both sites.
Connecticut’s most notable emcee this side of Steezo, (yeah, remember him? Or, you may remember that acid-washed denim on the cover of his “Crazy Noize” debut?) Apathy has returned with a venomous sophomore album (damn, seems like Ap’s dropped waaay more albums than that just two, right? Nope, this IS the follow-up to 06′ “Eastern Philosophy”) that also serves as his most cohesive piece of work to date, “Wanna Snuggle? (Demigodz Entertainment, Oct. 6)” Apathy is also better known as the lyrical heavyweight for the indie-favorites, the Demigoz as well as his output as a card-carrying member of Jedi Mind Tricks’ Army of the Pharaohs crew. Yet, on both “Eastern Philosophy” and “Wanna’ Snuggle? it’s painstakingly clear that Ap can do good all by his damn self!
With lyrics for days, an unmistakable mic presence, high caliber raps and surprisingly dense, neck-snapping production (mostly handled by Apathy, himself), Apathy loaded “Wanna’ Snuggle?” with three years worth of material to truly give the fan their money’s worth. You know how both Jay-Z and Nas have stated that both “Reasonable Doubt” and “Illmatic” respectively where both artists’ best albums to date simply because they had “so much to say”. Both being debuts “Reasonable Doubt” and “Illmatic” encapsulated YEARS of material for both Jay and Nas. Don’t get it twisted though, in no way, shape or form am I even heading down that road where the comparisons between “Wanna Snuggle?” and the aforementioned classics begin. Yet, clocking in at 21 (!) tracks deep, it’s scary to have imagined “Wanna’ Snuggle?” had Ap trimmed some of the fat off, particularly near the album’s end.
Some of the more obvious highlights of the album include the AZ-sampled, Emilio Lopez-assisted (his classic line from Nas’ “Life’s A Bitch” fuels the track) “Money Orientated”. Utilizing a pulsating, neck-snapping backdrop that would bring a kool-aid smile to Lil’ Fame’s grill, “Money Orientated” made reviewing “Wanna’ Snuggle?” somewhat of a chore, due to the fact that I couldn’t get it off of repeat for at least three days. “Shoot First”, which is a Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park, Fort Minor fame) produced track, takes you back to the heyday of Cypress Hill’s debut and it’s only proper that it features Cypress’ B-Real as well as Apathy’s PNC, Celph Titled. Next up is “This Is The Formula” featuring underground fav and lyrical heavyweight J-Live. Being that I still don’t have the production credits to the album, and the simple fact that this track is indeed titled “This Is The Formula” and Large Professor is also known as “the Mad Scientist”, one listen to this spacey, bass-heavy joint and it’s hard not to believe that this instant classic was laced by the man with the “extra large frames”.
Little Brother’s resident lyricist Phonte (ohhhh, a diss perhaps?) makes a cameo on “True Love” a soulful, non-cheesy cut on relationships that also served as the album’s first leak. Even though the aforementioned “True Love” is sure to be the hands-down favorite of the album dealing with the opposite sex, “Guys & Girls” is a slow-rolling, mellow gem that finds Wu-affiliate Blue Raspberry getting her best “Tekitha” on (only those of you that can recall the Wu All-Stars “Soul In The Hole” will get the gist of that one) while Apathy revisits the subject matter of the female species yet again.
As stated earlier, the bulk of production is handled by Apathy himself, who has been crafting a fairly impressive production resume as of late producing for the likes Tiye Phoenix, Styles of Beyond, Eternia as well as lending his production talents for forthcoming albums from Cypress Hill and Edo G. Even though Ap doesn’t blow you away with his sample selections, he does a more than adequate job of establishing a nice “theme” for the album, meaning: “Wanna’ Snuggle” flows quite nicely and isn’t really all over the place. Ehh, don’t front like you haven’t heard the majority of the samples for “OB4CL2″ either, this is Hip Hop after all, right?
Lyrically, when asked who’s your top 10 emcees in the game? You’ll never hear “Apathy” roll off my tongue effortlessly. Yet, this dude IS indeed one of the most overlooked microphone controllers in Hip Hop today. Voice? Check. Presence? Check. Lyrics? Check. Humor? Check. Story telling abilities? Check. I mean, really..Apathy could easily be in YOUR top 10 list as well as mine. So what’s the issue with the album and why does it falter near it’s ending?
The major beef that I have with “Wanna’ Snuggle?” is that it is indeed too lengthy. Tracks like “Mind Ya’ Business” (which features a reincarnated Chip-Fu on the hook) and “Thinkin” would have been better served on the cutting room floor as they run together with the track that proceeds them, “True Love”. “Wanna’ Snuggle?” also falls victim to the “Blueprint 3″ dilemma, the first half of the album is good….REALLY good, but tails off somewhat after “Guys & Girls”. For just a small taste of what I’m referring to, peep “Run, Run Away”, I commend Apathy for thinking outside of the box with this one…but, this is…just….not Apathy, at all!! Again, had some of these tracks been tidied up “Wanna’ Snuggle?” would go down as one of the best albums to drop this year as the strong cuts CARRY this album.
When the smoke clears, “Wanna’ Snuggle?” is still an impressive body of work, that will be highly anticipated from the die-hard fanbase that Apathy has been steadily accumulating throughout the releases of his indie 12” singles, mixtapes, etc. And while the kiddos at UndergroundHipHop.com will surely vote this album in as one of the year’s best, if not THE best, there’s just too much wastage for my taste. However, I’d be a bold-faced lair if I told you that “Wanna’ Snuggle?” didn’t feature some of the best songs of the year…i.e, “Money Orientated”.