Ugly Heroes - Ugly Heroes (Review)

Ugly Heroes (Cover)

Ugly Heroes is a group consisting of producer Apollo Brown and emcees Verbal Kent and Red Pill. They released their self-titled debut album on May 21, 2013 via Mellow Music Group. The album is entirely produced by Apollo Brown and has no guest features.

1) The Feeling - Skit.

2) Desperate - The first song on the album has a dope, laid back vocal sample instrumental which immediately sets the mellow tone present throughout the rest of the LP. Verbal Kent and Red Pill spit about their struggles in life, desperation and even suicidal thoughts (during Verbal Kents verse). They both come correct lyrically, but they seem to be lacking a bit of charisma on the mic. Maybe it's just since I am not familiar with any of their prior work. We shall see. Still, the song is dope.

3) Good Things Die - The beat on here is classic Apollo Brown - a chopped up vocal sample and boom-bap drums. Verbal Kent and Red Pill rap about their mic skills and how they deserve respect for spitting that real shit.
"See, any day could be your last, quit living in the past kid
You want drama? Take the class. Get your PHD
See, any moment I could pop out and leave you seeing asterisks
Cuz when it comes to spitting raps I got my PHD"
Dope song.

4) Long Drive Home - Now THIS beat is ill and got my nodding my head like crazy. Apollo Brown is a beast. Both emcees gets a bit introspective on this track, rapping about their stresses and anxieties, which is something pretty much everyone can relate to. This is my favorite song on here so far.

5) Hero's Theme - While the prior song had a very "classic Apollo Brown" feel to it, this track feels totally different than anything else I've ever heard from him. That being said, I haven't heard his entire catalog so I may be way off here. Anyways, the beat is a very mellow piano instrumental with rolling drums and its beautiful. Both emcees come correct, as they should on their own theme song. Very dope track.

6) Graves - This was the first song released from the album and its banging. The beat is classic Apollo Brown and both emcees spit bars about poverty and how everyone works until the day they die:
"Now I was sitting in my car, chain smoking on my break
Windows open start to notice that I'm hopeless every day
Between the hard drinking and the smoking
Start thinking about the folks who gotta do this to they graves
You can't afford to walk up off the job
Cause you gotta get your money and your money is your God
So now at least seven days a week
You see me trading in my soul for somebody to keep"
Another banger.

7) Heart & Soul - I know the sample on this track from some other song, I just can't place it. Of course, Apollo chops it up differently and makes it his own, but it's still very familiar to me for some reason. Both emcees spit about their relationships. Dope song.

8) Take It Or Leave It - Apollo Brown comes through with another banger and both Verbal Kent and Red Pill spit about being themselves and that they wont change for anything. I'm not really feelin the chorus on this track. Still, the song as a whole is nice.

9) Never Go - The guitar and vocal samples on this song give it a depressed, melancholy feeling, but its still very dope. Once again, both emcees come correct and spit about the people in their lives that lend them strength through the hard times. Very nice.

10) Sweet Love - The beats on this album are just crazy, which is not surprising for an album fully produced by Apollo Brown. This one has some cinematic strings with Apollo's signature chopped up brass samples and hard drums. At the beginning of this review I wasn't entirely sure that Verbal Kent and Red Pill had the charisma or mic presence to hold down an entire album. I was wrong. This shit is dope.

11) God's Day Off - This song has a bit more energetic feel than the previous few. The vocal sample is ill and both emcees come correct. There isn't much more to say. The album has been consistently dope and this track is no exception.

12) Just Relax - Another laid-back banger. This is the "feel good" song on the album, despite still having a slightly depressing feel to it.
"Throw a beat on and freestyle, the words just fall into place
The trebles sitting right on top of the bass
Everything is love, hoping my buzz just don't quit
Got to hang on long enough just to watch the sun set"

13) This Is Life - The vocal sample on this song is crazy. Once again, both Verbal Kent and Red Pill spit about the hardships and trials of life. I must admit the subject matter is getting a bit repetitive, but the beat and lyrics are dope so I can't really complain too much. Also, the whole point of the album is to express the trials and tribulations of the blue collar worker so the repetitiveness of the subject matter is intended. Regardless, this is another good song.

14) Impaired Judgement - Both emcees spit verses about getting drunk/high to escape the reality of the world. The verses on this song are really descriptive and you can visualize exactly what they are spitting about. The beat is beautiful and everyone comes correct. Dope.

15) Push - The album closes out with Verbal Kent and Red Pill spitting fire over a CRAZY instrumental. The beat is definitely signature Apollo Brown and the drums hit really hard. This song is a banger, no doubt. Great way to close out the LP.

I'm going to rate the album a

4 / 5

because the album is consistently dope the whole way through. Apollo Brown is a beast when it comes to production and his work on here is no exception. This is my first experience with emcees Verbal Kent and Red Pill and I'm impressed. I could tell right from the beginning that their lyrics were dope, but I was worried about their charisma and mic presence. Well, they won me over throughout the course of the album. The only bad thing about the LP is the lack of standout tracks. This is really just me being nit-picky though since the entire album is consistently ill. Make sure you support real hip-hop and pick up the album via the groups Bandcamp page. Don't sleep on this album.


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