Apollo Brown and O.C. - Trophies (Review)

O.C. and Apollo Brown - Trophies (cover)

Trophies is a collaboration album between veteran D.I.T.C. emcee O.C. and Detroit producer Apollo Brown. The album dropped back in May of 2012 on Mello Music Group. O.C. is one of my favorite emcees and I consider his first two albums, Word...Life and Jewelz, to be classics. Apollo Brown is much newer to the game, having produced albums with Hassaan Mackey and his group The Left, just in the past few years. How did the album turn out? Click to read the review.


1) Trophies - Skit.

2) The Pursuit - Let me start off by saying that its great to hear O.C. again. I haven't heard much from him since 2009's Oasis album with fellow D.I.T.C member A.G. I always thought O.C. was an extremely dope emcee and have liked pretty much everything he has put out. I'm not quite as familiar with Apollo Brown, besides his work with Hassaan Mackey and as part of The Left, but his beats have always sounded real soulful. The beat on here is on a classic boom-bap tip and O.C. kills it. I can't ask for much more than that. Great way to start the album.

3) Prove Me Wrong - The beats got my head nodding like crazy and O.C. does his thing.
"For O.C. addicts, sorry for the wait
Tie off your arms, here’s another dose, a few years withdrawal
Been a bit too long, I know
Vent, talk shit, let it out, exhale
Time to let it go"
Hopefully he wont keep us waiting too long for the next album since this is ill.

4) Nautica - Keeping with the song title, the beat and lyrics are full of ocean and storm imagery. The beat has a deep bass backbone with some wavy violin strings.
"Blowing through cities, category five
As it flows through the MIDI, I shows no pity
Hurricane winds churning up fear
Board up your houses, brace for what's here"
Nice.

5) Anotha One - This is the blowing off stress, laid back weed track. The beat is airy and O.C. sounds great over it. This is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album.

6) Disclaimer - The instrumental on here is much harder than the previous track and is quite chaotic. O.C. is spitting fire on here. Another great track.

7) We The People - The beat on here is crazy and consists of a dope violin and vocal sample over some dusty drums. O.C. has a good message on here.

8) Signs - Another banging beat and O.C. rips it. So far this album is consistently dope. This song could have been a little longer since its only one verse, but that's a minor issue.

9) The First 48 - This song is about interrogation with the police - in the white room. The beat is pretty good and is mainly made of up some chopped up strings and a vocal sample for the chorus. Not my favorite on here, but not bad.

10) Angels Sing - Trippy beat on here with some synths over dusty drums. O.C. kicks it with some religious imagery:
"Its like war going on between blood suckers and lychens
Evils vs the righteous, the devil and Christ
Unexplained occurrences, unsolved murders
No answers, families left to bear deaths burden
Refuge taken in the house of the Lord
Tricksters play with your mind and end up in the Forbes
Knowing wealth is power
Understand
Those who hold the keys to the door decide who gains entry
I've seen situations that was pure get tainted
But this ain't nothing new its been going on for ages"
11) Just Walk - The beat on here is hard and got my head nodding like crazy. O.C. spits fire and is telling wack emcees to just "walk on". Great song.

12) The Formula - This is probably my favorite song on the album. The beat is nuts and has some beautiful violins over some gritty drums. This has a great throwback feel and hearing O.C. spit on it is just perfect. I could listen to this all day.

13) Peoples' Champ - Is this album every going to let up? The beats have kept my head nodding throughout the entire thing and O.C. is just destroying every one of them. The chorus, featuring a M.O.P. sample, brings even more energy to the song. Very nice.

14) Options - Another string sample over some gritty drums. What more can I say? This album hasn't had a really weak track yet. I read somewhere that this album was recorded in two days, which is crazy. Both O.C. and Apollo Brown were in a zone for those two days.

15) Caught Up - The beat on here is not as good as the previous few have been. Still, I'm really liking this.

16) Fantastic - O.C. gets personal on here and raps about his prior albums and his successes and failures. The beat is hypnotic and slowly fades out at the end. Great way to end the album.

I'm going to give the album a:

4.5 / 5

because pretty much every song on here is a banger. Both artists were in a zone while making this and you can tell. O.C. sounds right at home over Apollo Browns production. The songs sound like old school boom bap records, but updated for modern times. Many artists are having trouble updating their sound to stay current, but this was done very well. I'd recommend this album for any hip-hop fan.

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