Apex Zero - Reality Provoking Liberation (Review)

Apex Zero - Reality Provoking Liberation

"Reality Provoking Liberation" is the debut solo album from West London emcee Apex Zero. The album features guest appearances from OMeza Omniscient, Hasan Salaam, Iron Braydz and others as well as production from OMeziah and DJ Fortune, but mostly all of the songs are self-produced by Apex Zero himself. It is set to be released on October 28, 2013.

1) Shackled By The Pound - The first track on the album has an ominous piano and guitar loop layered over energetic drums that should get your head-nodding right out the gate. Lyrically Apex Zero is on point, spitting politically-charged rhymes about being slaves to system and about oppression. The beat is dark and the lyrics are potent, which is a dominant trend that will continue throughout the entire album. Dope way to kick off the LP.

2) Absolute Zero - The beat on this track an intense energy with some fierce strings over aggressive drums and deep bass. The instrumental is really cinematic and Apex Zero bodies it, kicking some boastful rhymes about how dope he is on the mic coupled with his usual militant lyrics and ferocious flow. This shit is raw. Very dope.

3) Power Source (War At Night)  - The OMeziah instrumental on this song is very dark and atmospheric, with an eerie sample that has a sort of Asian feel to it. Apex Zero comes through and kicks some rhymes about how the common people are used by their governments as resources and encourages organization in order to overthrow their oppressors.
"It's time to transform our cannibal killer claws
To tools of righteous revolution fighting a guerrilla war
That will be fought on road
The first battles in your mind
Any freedom that you think you have's a lie
Open your brain's eye
This life don't work, revolt is what will change it
If we want a better world we must create it"
The lyrics are thought-provoking and the beat is banging. Dope.

4) Our Times (featuring OMeza Omniscient and Kyra) - Apex Zero returns on the production tip with another head-nodding instrumental with some beautiful violins over boom-bap drums that sounds like something Wu-Tang would have rhymed over back in the mid-90's. The beat is dope and all three emcees do their thing, rapping about the struggles of living in the world today. Nice.

5) Walk on Water (featuring Seapa and OMeza Omniscient) - The beat on this song is another violin-based instrumental with a darker feel to it, similar in vibe to something off of Jedi Mind Tricks' debut album. Apex Zero teams up again with fellow First and Last member OMeza Omniscient as well as guest Seapa as all three emcees spit some more revolutionary-themed darts. Dope shit.

6) Don't Follow The Image (featuring OMeza Omniscient and Amy True) - Apex Zero comes through with another hard-hitting instrumental full of frantic violins and energetic drums that up the energy level a bit. The beat is banging and both Apex Zero and OMeza Omniscient body it, rapping about thinking for yourself and not blindy following "the idiots" while Amy True provides the chorus. Very nice.

7) Obtain Bearing - In sharp contrast to the previous track, the instrumental on this song is much more laid-back and mellow, with some haunting singing, beautiful pianos and deep bass drums. Apex Zero tones down the intensity in his flow a bit to match the relaxed feel of the beat and spits some reflective lyrics about his inner struggles as well as his strive to make a difference in the world, among other things. This is dope and is a nice respite from the fury of the first half of the album.

8) Chaotic Revolt - This was another one of the singles released in promotion of the album and it's fire. The instrumental is banging and features some more cinematic strings over head-nodding drums that slowly build up intensity over the course of the song. Apex Zero comes through with more of his trademark rebellious lyrics and raps about needing to organize and become unified before attempting to rise up against the powers that be.

9) A Meeting of the Continents (featuring Hasan Salaam and Iron Braydz) - This is one of the few songs on the album that is not produced by Apex Zero himself. Instead, DJ Fortune delivers with another dark instrumental that features a crazy backing sample over deep bass. The song literally is "a meeting of the continents" in that it features New Jersey's Hasan Salaam and thus bridges North America to Europe via the guest vocals. Dope shit.

10) Spray The Roof (featuring OMeza Omniscient and Invincible Armor) - Apex Zero lets loose with yet another ominous instrumental that is actually one of my favorite beats on the album. It's full of a raging energy and has some dope scratching that really adds to the intensity of the song. Lyrically everyone brings it, spitting rapid-fire and esoteric rhymes that compliment the vicious instrumental nicely. Nice.

11) Growth (Slay the Basilisk) - The beat on this track has an ethereal instrumental with some soft background vocals, soaring strings and hard drums. The beat is banging and Apex Zero rips it, rapping about slaying the serpent that represents the government and other oppressors. Dope shit.

12) Reality Provoking Liberation (featuring OMeza Omniscient) - The final song on the album has a mid-tempo instrumental, courtesy of OMeziah, that has some smooth pianos and an eerie vocal loop over head-nodding drums. The beat is dope and both emcees sound great over it, kicking more anti-establishment rhymes in their powerful flows. Not a bad way to close out the album.

I'm going to rate the album

4 / 5

because it's quite dope. The beats are banging throughout, with most having a strong Wu-Tang-ish influence to them. The dark instrumentals coupled with Apex Zero's fierce flow and intelligent subject matter set this album apart from many of the other hip-hop albums being released today. Lyrically he reminds me of Dead Prez or Immortal Technique in that he has a confrontational style and clever politically-charged wordplay. While I may not agree with everything he says on the album, it's definitely nice to hear an emcee who refuses to cower to the powers that be and spit with a passion about the topics that he believes to be true. I do feel like the aggressiveness of the beats and lyrics may alienate some casual listeners, but the same thing happens to all of the artists in this genre of hip-hop. If you like the aforementioned artists, make sure you check out the full album when it drops in late October.

1 comment:

  1. Revolutionary wisdom needed in the uk. Heed the message.