South Florida rapper, Apakalypse has been one of the busier gents of the local hip-hop scene. Just this fall season he's released two full-length efforts, Future From the Past and Earth's Special Forces. Either he's been on an incredible creative kick or he simply has nothing better to do, but now he's dropped the ambitious, 48 track, somewhat conceptual album En Sabah Nur - The Lofi Master.
With a palette informed by comics and skateboarding/kung-fu culture, steeped deep in some righteous kush, Apakalypse's rhymes run the gamut of self-deprecation, spirituality, and the conceptualization of mankind as superman -- equal parts Nietzchean philosophy and Stan Lee imaginative. In the canon of Marvel Comics, the mutant villain Apocalypse has been ret-conned as En Sabah Nur, the "first one" and is hinted to be the first mutant in the X-Man ethos.
Ret-conning himself into alignment with this mentality, as eternal creator, Apak has produced a cognizant album that works on the merit of its building blocks and as a straight, uninterrupted listen.
Apakalypse - "Zero Theory"
Apak's delivery is laid back and throaty without breaking stride. There's something brash and homemade in his compositions that makes the tracks familiar while retaining some familiarity -- he's clearly influenced by the '90s backpack movement and understands the importance of higher consciousness hip-hop with an urban braggadocio that makes you question the nerdiness.
Even the flourishes of samples are deliberate, almost secondary to the sparse beats and low ends. Is that a sliver of Japanese prog supergroup's Food Brain "Clock" in "Zero Theory?" This is hip-hop for heads who enjoy their samurai Sundays with a loaded bowl -- or anyone who likes their rap real, without taking itself too seriously and guided by real concerns and not record label posturing.
While some would think that there will be some filler in an oeuvre this large, and they'd be right given shorter albums filled with unnecessary "skits" and the such, Apak's En Sabah Nur -The Lofi Master keeps the verbiage to a minimum with an intro here and there, letting the short tracks (in the two minute plus range for the most part) do the talking.
If you've slept on this local MC, start catching up here. Apak's got roughly 25 releases under his belt in the last four years with no signs of slowing down. He's on that creative kick and has nothing better to do than follow the path to becoming a superman in both Nietzsche and Lee's shadow.