This is Mark, and I wanna know one thing – whose fucking with my man Apathy, emcee/producer extraordinaire, member of the Demigodz and one of the few artists who CONSTANTLY delivers dope music. He’ll beat up your big brother motherfuckers…
Mark – First off, just to introduce yourself to those who might not know you very well, break down the usual…how’d you get the name Apathy, where are you from, and how long have you been “in the game”?
Apathy – The word apathy means no feelings or emotions. The reason I chose to use this initially was biblical. In the bible, the story of Sodom and Gomorah, they talk about Lott’s wife…God told her to leave the city, because he was going to destroy it. He told her not to look back no matter what. So Lott’s wife started to flee the city, but she heard the cries of people she had feelings for behind her. So she turns around…and poof…God turns her into a pillar of salt. The basic idea of that story is focus, faith, and perspective. You gotta make the decision of what is important to you. Her feelings got the best of her and they interfered. Fuck that. I have focus…and my feelings don’t de-rail my train of thought. I also consider myself Apathy cuz i ain’t feelin’ shit nowadays, as far as what’s coming out, except Jay-Z and Ghostface. I’m from Connecticut, which is the state in between NY and Boston…and I been in the game for a while now. I made my first debut on the Jedi Mind Tricks LP “The Psycho Social”…DAMN that was a long introduction.
When exactly did you decide hip hop was what you wanted to do with your life?
I ALWAYS loved hip-hop, and I been rhymin’ for a long time…but I had no idea that I was actually gonna BE an emcee who would be on wax and shit. I think it first got serious to me, and I decided it was what I wanted to do in 92-93… when I first hooked up with what was The Demigodz back then. The original Demigodz were all cats from up here. Open-Mic made up the name back in the day, and I joined them a year or so later.
You’re a part of the Demigodz, which is one hell of a talented group, but I’m not sure of the entire line-up…I’ve read somewhere that there are like 30 of you, but I can only think of you, C-Rayz, L-Fudge, Celph Titled, Rise…who am I forgetting and how did the Demigodz come together?
C-Rayz isn’t actually a Demigod. He’s family, and he’s tight with us…but he’s part of Stronghold… Demigodz and The Stronghold click have a strong alliance, we’re all down with each other. The line-up is as follows: Apathy, Celph-Titled, Esoteric, Open-Mic, Louis Logic, One-Two, Jabber Jaw, L-Fudge, Metropolis, Rise, Motive, Spin 4th (of Yaggfu Front)… and our dj’s Chum Da Animal Steel, Mr Mayday, and Unpaid Bill. Basically the way we came together is just all being down with each other and coming together all the time to work with each other. Demigodz are the last hip-hop crew. That’s that.
You’ve definitely been a mainstay in the “underground” for the past while…off the top of my head you’ve released “Ain’t Nuthin”, “Just Begun”, “No Joke” and “That Old Boom Bap”…and “The Smackdown”..plus, you were on that Rasheed single a few months ago and I know I’m probably forgetting some other shit, but how is it you stay busy? What I mean by that is, alot of cats I know are struggling to put out one single, let alone the amount you’ve put out in such a short time…you must have a real work ethic and be focused…sorry if that seems confusing, I asked like 2 or 3 questions there…
I get what you mean. Ummm… it’s pretty much how Celph and I work. We have a real strong work ethic, and we just make alotta shit. The first 3 singles i dropped weren’t meant to be singles. Celph and I made them to be MP3’s, just for the buzz. But we were playin them up in the Bronx Science office, and the owner was like “I wanna put those out”. So we were like “Ok, cool…whatever”. “Just Begun” was supposed to be for a mix tape, and so was the Chrome Depot freestyles… that’s why we rhymed over Primo instrumentals instead of real beats on the B-Side. We played “Just Begun” for D.R. Period. That beat was off a beat cd he had given us. He heard what I did over His beat… he was really feelin’ it… so it got pressed up on White Label. We have yet to release our best joints. “That Ol Boom Bap” wasn’t even really that dope to me for a single… Just wait. We got some hot shit comin’ up. The real shit.
So you produce and rhyme… what’s your first love?
Rhyming. But I REALLY love producing. I love them equally now… but rhymin’ is my first love. My album is about 80% of my beats. There are alotta emcees who produce their own shit and its weak. I can only think of a handful of cats who are nice with both. I like Celph (who’s more of an emcee than people give him credit for), J-Zone, Pete Rock (kids sleep, but I love Pete’s rhymes), Diamond, Lord Finesse, and a few other cats I know I’m forgetting.
Are you a serious crate digger?
Not yet… I’m tryin to be, but I won’t even front. I’m not yet. I hang out with some… and I’m nowhere near the level they’re on. I know that I know ALOT more than the average producer or hip-hop head. But I respect diggin’ alot, and there’s alotta shit I don’t know.
How big is your record collection and do you have any crazy digging stories?
I have alotta shit. My collection is impressive. I don’t really have any crazy stories per say. But I remember diggin with my homeboys, the Vinyl Reanimators, and hangin out over Sean C’s house. Him and Joe Mansfield have records that God and the FBI couldn’t track down TOGETHER. I also remember when I went diggin with a few kids I used to hang around with at this radio station. We were in the music library stealin records. A whole bunch of the staff was in the hall and we couldn’t get passed them. So one of the kids went out to the patio outside, under this window we were at… and we dropped records down to him. One of the records I really wanted, it was a Carmen McRae record, got stuck on an air conditioner sleeve that was sticking out of the building. That sucked. But we got some hot shit.
Who are you feeling at the moment?
All of the Demigodz, Jay-Z, Ghostface, Stronghold, JMT, J-Zone, Encore, K-Otix… and this group called The Funk Bunker, from R.I. They’re dope…kids are gonna know their name in a minute.
If you could do a track with any two emcees and any producer, who would it be?
Jay-Z, and Pharoah Monche. Primo for the producer.
What do you love and hate most bout the scene right now?
I don’t love anything about the scene right now. I’m very exhausted with it. The thing i hate about it, is that there is too much weird shit out now. It’s all super abstract and boring sounding. Fuck that shit. But on the other side… there’s also alotta boring average stuff out too. The market is COMPLETELY saturated. I hate emcees with boring beats and average voices and flows. Fuckin stop it!
With all the shit that’s been happening lately, terrorism and war and anthrax and whatever else, does it put the music into a different perspective? Has hip-hop lost any importance to you?
I find myself making references to it in my rhymes. I don’t mean cheap little punchlines about Bin Laden or anything like that… but just talking about it, and things I’m afraid of and things I’m upset about. I wrote a bunch of verses for The Army of Pharoahs album, and I make several references on their about what’s going on. Hip-hop has lost no importance to me. Nothing could change it.
What’s next for apathy and whats next for the Demigodz?
Celph’s single is about to drop, if it didn’t already drop by the time this article is read. The Demigodz EP on Ill Boogie Records is dropping soon.. and its nothing short of amazing. It’s really hot. My album, “Eastern Philosophy”, is almost finished. Rise is pretty much finished for his joint with Fat Beats, Louis Logic is wrapping up his album now. Esoteric is doin a solo joint on Brick, and all the Demigodz are dropping singles like Open-mic, One Two, Jabber Jaw… and Chum Da Animal Steel is doin a production album. We’re busy, and it keeps getting better.
Any tour plans… you guys have to come to Toronto?
We’re trying to hook up with some promoters in Canada, and anywhere else… we’re REALLY looking for shows. Hit us up at Apathy@ughh.com. We’re also gonna try to make a big Demigodz tour.
Anything to add?
Back in the day I used to be known as The Alien Tongue. Now I’m known as The Great Caesar. All Hail Caesar! Hahahha… that’s it… good lookin out b.