Apathy | Honkey Kong

Dirty Version (2011)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 14, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

APATHY-M

Apathy spent too much time on major-label shelves to release garbage. Since being liberated from Atlantic's shackles, the Connecticut MC and universal lyrical legend has made up for lost rhyme with a fuck-ton of impressive projects, and Honkey Kong is no exception. As proven on Eastern Philosophy (2006) and on tracks here like "Check to Check," Apathy is capable of murdering with few, if any, co-defendants. But he's also smart enough to recognize how well he plays with others, and in this case has assembled a guest roster of the few hardcore acrobats who can hang with his blue-collar brand of bombast and braggadocio. Fellow Honkey Kong kings Vinnie Paz, Slaine, and Ill Bill help light the fuse from the get-go on back-to-back-to-back bangers, while eternal Apathy collaborator Esoteric does the trick twice. Ap and Celph Titled crack a unique out-of-character DJ Premier beat on "Stop What Ya Doin"; Action Bronson shows up for a romantic throwback; Statik Selektah rocks the sweetest soul sample of the year on the album's hottest highlight, "It's Only Hip-Hop." As always, Apathy wins on account of the metaphors he spatters across tracks like so much blood, sweat, and tears. Still, associates like these, when aligned properly, make for something much brighter than a badass solo outing.
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