Ugly Heroes - Ugly Heroes EP (Review)

Ugly Heroes - Ugly Heroes EP (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"Ugly Heroes EP" is the latest EP from hip-hop trio Ugly Heroes (which consists of hip-hop producer Apollo Brown and emcees Verbal Kent and Red Pill). The EP features guest appearances from Murs and DJ Eclipse as well as production from Oddisee, but mostly the entire project is produced by Apollo Brown himself. It was released on August 19, 2014 via Mellow Music Group.

1) Legit Worthless - The first song on the EP finds Red Pill and Verbal Kent kicking some personal rhymes about their life and goals over a hard hitting Apollo Brown beat with a chopped up soul sample. The beat is signature Apollo Brown (which is a good thing by the way) and both emcees rip it. Dope track and a good way to kick off the project. - 4/5

2) Naysayers & Playmakers - The beat on this cut is probably my favorite on the entire EP, with Apollo delivering a beautiful looped up vocal and brass sample that has my head nodding like crazy. The production on this one is classic Apollo Brown and the rhymes are just as strong, with Red Pill setting it off first and kicking some more personal rhymes while Verbal Kent follows up and does the same. This one is fire. - 5/5

3) Good Things Die (featuring Murs) - This cut finds Ugly Heroes linking up with veteran Los Angeles rapper Murs as all three emcees kick some boastful battle raps and rhyme about living for today over another chopped up soul sample. As on the past few tracks, the beat and rhymes on here are real nice. Another dope track. - 4/5

4) Risk Brings Reward - Apollo changes his up sound a little bit on this joint and layers an ill guitar over his usual chopped up sample and boom-bap drums. As expected, the beat is banging and both Red Pill and Verbal Kent rip it as the rap about their inspirations and about the risks and rewards of being in the rap industry. Very nice. - 4/5

5) Michael & Scottie & Horace - Verbal Kent and Red Pill kick some boastful raps about being the best in the hip-hop game over a sort of spacey sample looped up over stomping drums. The beat and rhymes are dope and I'm feelin' the M.O.P. sample in the chorus. Nice. - 4/5

*Bonus Tracks*

6) Pay Attention - The first bonus track finds Apollo Brown delivering the most unique sounding instrumental on the EP so far, with a hi-pitched sample or keyboards over layers of ambient synths. I'm really diggin' the lush vibe of the production and both emcees rip it as they kick some more personal and introspective rhymes. This is another of my favorite songs on here. - 4.5/5

7) Low Serotonin - This is the only track on the entire project that isn't produced by Apollo Brown himself and instead features Verbal Kent and Red Pill trading off rhymes over a head nodding Oddisee production. The beat has quite a lot going on in it, but the shit sounds dope regardless. It's not my favorite, but it's still very good. - 3.75/5

8) Ugly (featuring DJ Eclipse) - Apollo Brown returns to production duties on this cut and delivers another instrumental in his trademark style, with a chopped up soul sample over hard hitting drums. The beat and rhymes are dope and the scratching by DJ Eclipse makes the track even better. Yet another dope track. - 4/5

9) Me - The beat on this cut is the most laid back on the entire project, with an almost mournful sample looped up over animated hi-hats and a beautiful harp or something similar on the chorus. The song also has some of the most personal rhymes on the entire project, with both emcees rapping about their own personal fears, shortcomings and motivations. Very dope. - 4.25/5

10) Underrated (Apollo Brown Remix) - The final song on the EP is Apollo Brown's take on the track "Underrated" off of Verbal Kent’s "Sound Of The Weapon" album that he dropped back in February. While the original is dope, this version is easily my favorite out of the two. - 4/5

I'm going to rate the EP

4 / 5

because it's really good. Apollo Brown has always been a beast when it comes to production and he continues that trend on this EP. I always hear people talking about how many of his beats sound similar and I agree, but that shit doesn't bother me in the least since his beats are always fire. Lyrically the EP is just as dope as the production, with both Verbal Kent and Red Pill coming correct on every track and becoming some of my favorite emcees when it comes to personal and introspective rhymes. Overall the EP is really nice and is a welcome companion piece to their self-titled album that dropped last year. I can't wait to hear what they are cooking up for their follow-up to that album.


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