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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

Classic Debut!

Hadn't heard of Apollo Brown until recently, but dude is everywhere recently and now I see why - his beats are hard. This is the same way I felt when I heard Pete Rock back in the day. Big Up to Apollo Brown & Crew!

Top 10 Producer

Apollo Brown, the newest member of the Mello Music Group production team, is the Detroit producer who grabbed the nations attention first on Finale's Pipe Dream & a Promise album and then again as the Detroit Red Bull Big Tune Champion. The Reset is the first of four full length albums Apollo Brown produced that are slated for release in 2010 on MMG (the others are UPS Brown Study with Boog Brown, Daily Bread with Hassaan Mackey, and the opus from The Left Gas Mask). The Reset is an introduction to Apollo Brown's production: 15 reworked tracks - not just remixes - but fresh verses, new production, new hooks, and new features, recombined to create an entirely new album that captures the haunting street soul of Detroit.

A NEW Classic...

It just goes to show that you don't have to be a household name to make a classic album because
that's what The Reset is... Classic.

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

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