“Trophies” (Released April 24, Mello Music Group”
Quickly becoming one of the more “in demand” producers in Hip Hop, Detroit’s Apollo Brown pulled off the amazing (damn, it was hard keeping a secret for nearly 15 months! LOL) and linked up with one of my Top 5 emcees of all time, D.I.T.C. affiliate, Omar Credle a.k.a. OC to create a masterpiece with the recently released “Trophies” (Mello Music Group). Already offering “teasers” with the likes of “Prestige Of A King”, from the Mello Music Group compilation “Self Sacrifice”, and the first leak from “Trophies”, “Prove Me Wrong”, the duo easily crafted two of the best singles released this year even prior to the release of the long-awaited “Trophies”.
The aforementioned gems unveiled an instant chemistry that is a match made in heaven. In the spirit of Guru and Preem, Pete & CL and as you’ll later read in this review, Dre & The D.O.C., Apollo and OC go for dolo on “Trophies” with zero guest appearances and rightfully so. OC’s undaunted lyricism is timeless and similar to the performance on his debut “Word..Life” and his sophomore outing, “Jewelz”. With “Trophies”, O.C. finally has the production backing needed to match his hefty wordplay. With vivid tales and depictions of everything from weed (“Anotha One”), hoes (“Caught Up”), lyrical storms (“Nautica”) and a homage to one of Hip-Hop’s forgotten emcees, The D.O.C. (“The Formula”), O.C. gets my immediate vote for, not only “comeback” artists of the year, but “emcee of the year”…period! While there’s plenty of time left in 2012, it’s extremely hard to fathom anyone topping O.C.’s confident, almost rejuvenated showing on this LP. I mean, really, dude sounds the same as he did in ’94. It’s really quite awe-inspiring, actually.
On the production tip, Apollo Brown continues his recent string of dope output, with deft, airy soundscapes that are not only “hard” but extremely well thought out and cleverly constructed. Some of Apollo’s production highlights arrive via the crispy “Nautica”, the wailing “Angels Sing” and the all-too-brief, finale from “Trophies”, “Fantastic” (those strings!! Damn!!)
Again, while we’re almost half way through 2012, it may be too early to crown “Trophies” (no pun intended) with “Album of The Year” status, it’s almost a certainty that when all the dust settles this year, “Trophies” will find itself on top of the pile peering downward at a the competition.