Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown
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One of Detroit's most reliably dope lyricists, Guilty Simpson hit the scene with 2007's Ode to the Ghetto and has stayed busy ever since, dropping impressive projects like OJ Simpson (with Madlib) and Random Axe (with Sean P and fellow Motowner Black Milk). Apollo Brown is a prolific producer and the backbone of Mello Music Group; he's carved out a place for himself providing choice beats to a wide assortment of emcees, including The Left, OC, Boog Brown, and Hassaan Mackey, among countless others. His earthy, midtempo tracks are heavy on the soul and light on the synths, somewhat similar to cats like Oddisee and 9th Wonder. They're ideal for Guilty's straightforward delivery and vivid storytelling style. Song topics include the grit and grime of Detroit life ("Reputation"), dealing with divorce ("Change"), the inevitability of death ("How Will I Go"), and putting down the pipe ("Dear Jane"), while solid guest verses come from Torae and Planet Asia. It's grown-man hip-hop from two excessively talented artists. Don't miss "Neverending Story" or the Wu-Tang–inspired groupie anthem "Let's Play."
I've never written any sort of iTunes review before, but if I didn't do it now, it wouldn't be doing this album any justice. Dice Game is something special. I'd venture to say it is the single best project Apollo has worked on. I'm a big fan of his and for me this album is genius. Apollo's signature production style comes through in all of these tracks, and Guilty Simpson does an immaculate job spitting on all of them. I was certainly pleasantly surprised if we're being fair—I had not really listened to much of him on the mic before but this album has turned me into a fan. This album is soulful in every sense of the word and articulates incredibly well (thanks, Guilty) the plight of living in Detroit, and the trials and tribulations of everyday life really. It's easy to see the investment Apollo and Guilty put into this album and every word laid out in the album is real. If you are a hip-hop fan, from Detroit, or can just appreciate good music in general, go ahead and hit the 'Buy Album' button on the left.
Guilty Simpson at his finest, going hand-in-hand with production by Apollo Brown. Instant Classic!!!!
APOLLO FOR PRESIDENT!
Ladies and gentlemen, he's done it again. Apollo never ceases to amaze. Displaying superior work ethic and craftmanship, I don't believe this brother gets any sleep...and no one should sleep on this album!
Born: 1980 in Detroit, MI
Years Active: '00s, '10s