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The Reset

Apollo Brown

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Album Review

A fast-rising beatmaker from out of Detroit, Apollo Brown introduced his brand of soul-flavored, sample-heavy production on two instrumental albums — Skilled Trade (2007) and Make Do (2009). Now inducted into the ranks of respected indie rap label Mello Music Group, Brown adds some tweaks and twists to a selection of beats from his archives, pairing them with choice vocals from labelmates such as Kenn Starr, Oddissee, Declaime, and Hassaan Mackey as well as a handful of underground mainstays like Prince Po, Grap Luva, and Big Pooh of Little Brother. The result is an extraordinary hodgepodge of next-level lyricism and impeccable behind-the-boards craftsmanship. Detroit's underground hip-hop scene has received renewed scrutiny in recent years with the passing of J Dilla as well as commendable efforts from Guilty Simpson and Black Milk, among others. What sets Apollo Brown apart is that, unlike some of his Motown brethren who tend to follow Dilla's beatmaking formulas to a T, Apollo Brown shows he can excel at a variety of production styles. And while James Yancey's legacy can be heard at times, it's clear that Brown was raised on the works of East Coast masters like the RZA and DJ Premier. The beats featured on The Reset waffle between brooding slow burners ("Lower the Boom," "Seasons," "Brainwash," "Propa") and soaring, battle-happy headnodders ("Hungry," "Streets Won't Let Me Chill," "Ghetto Soul Music"). Furthermore, he displays a meticulous attention to detail in his programming that's too rare in contemporary hip-hop. Consider how the chunky bassline and crisp drums of "Real Detroit" are given an adrenaline rush with the addition of baseball bat cracks and roaring crowd samples when the chorus drops. Similarly, the jazzy guitar chords and echoing vocals lingering behind "Seasons" provide a haunting backdrop to Kansas-born lyricist Stik Figa's woeful vignettes of his home state. Ultimately, The Reset shows and proves Apollo Brown's mettle as a versatile and highly talented beatsmith while serving as a fine showcase for the Mello Music Group roster.

Customer Reviews

Wow Primo

Wow I cant believe I get to be the first to write a review on Apollo Brown, quite an honor....
Watch out for Apollo Brown cuz he`s going to take the beat making Crown!!
A 1 best in town....!

look out for thejunglife

Bear Witness

Apollo Brown has been making noise for a while but this album is probably the first glimpse at Apollo's true genius with producing. By pulling samples from the archives of music history and showcasing his master craftsmanship, he is not only returning to the roots of hip-hop but also pointing the direction of where it will go and how he will have a great hand in its growth for years to come.

For all who like real hip-hop, don't sleep on this album. For those who need to be (re)educated on what constitutes real hip-hop, begin with this album. Either way, you need this album in your collection. This is hip-hop done right.

For those who will not sleep on this album, they are in for a real treat; bearing witness to the rise of who could be the next greatest hip-hop producer of this generation, if not all time.

Wow

Appolo Brown is making a run for the best beat maker of the year. First this album, then producing The Left's whole lp. Nottz and him are going crazy right now.

Biography

Born: Detroit, MI

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailing from the West Michigan town of Grand Rapids, Apollo Brown is a hip-hop producer currently based in Detroit. In the tradition of left-field beatmakers like the great J Dilla and Madlib, Brown is a man of many influences, with a sound that owes as much to the yacht rock of Seals & Crofts as it does to classic R&B, pulling from all corners of the music world to craft beats that are as interesting musically as they are rhythmically. While Brown started making beats as a bedroom producer...
Full bio
The Reset, Apollo Brown
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Customer Ratings