FIRST LISTEN & IMPRESSIONS - Apollo Brown & O.C.: Trophies (2012) Release: 1st May

RuffDraftRuffDraft Posts: 4,706
edited May 2012 in The Essence


1. Trophies
2. The Pursuit
3. Prove Me Wrong
4. Nautica
5. Anotha One
6. Disclaimer
7. We The People
8. Signs
9. The First 48
10. Angels Sing
11. Just Walk
12. The Formula
13. People's Champ
14. Options
15. Caught Up
16. Fantastic

From the Artist who brought us Word… Life and Jewelz to The Left producer who brought us Gask Mask and Clouds, comes Trophies, a 2012 collaborative project that will be a heavily conceptualised release on Mello Music Group.

… do I need to say anything else?

Well, I copped it on pre-order already, I can't wait for this and I'm sure I'm not alone… the single dropped last month, entitled "Prove Me Wrong"… O.C. warns "It's the calm before the storm…" Apollo is as nice as ever on the boards…

Who's checking for this release?

I can imagine this'll be up there with my favourite albums come the end of 2012…


First listen:

"Everybody wants their trophy. What, is that supposed to tell me that you did something? I don't need no goddamn trophy, award or recognition. I do this shit because I love to do this shit! All these kids nowadays, all these young people, they got to have some kind of shiny material possession or some shit that shows that they did something. They got to have a trophy. They got to have an award. They got to have a nice looking girl, a nice car, some nice rims and a gold chain. We don't need to know that you've done some shit, just do it!"* Intro to Trophies.

In love with this album, O.C. really takes Apollo's beats and runs with them! It's great to hear some of my favourite beats from Clouds (2011) making an appearance, namely 'Anotha One', which takes 'The 11th Hour' to new levels. 'Signs' is another 'borrower', which takes 'Push' from Clouds and produces another banger. Seriously, if anyone slept on Clouds last year, this album will make you wonder why. 'Shadows of Grief' is perhaps sampled best from Clouds as O.C. discusses today's women on 'Caught Up'. I had Clouds as one of my favourites from last year and O.C. is just an advertisement for the quality of those beats, changing flows easily off-beat yet killing it. Incredible.

Apollo Brown and O.C. - Anotha One

Apollo Brown and O.C. - Signs

Apollo Brown and O.C. - Caught Up

Nevertheless, the other beats standalone and wouldn't feel out of place on a solely instrumental album. The horns are in full-effect and Apollo's samples of short-vocals are too. There's a variety of beats as well as topics discussed on the album, yet it's all Apollo's signature which keeps cohesion in full effect. The only weak spot after first listen would be 'People's Champ', which lacks, IMO, due to the samples on the hook (which I find annoying).

Overall, it's been 5 months since I checked heavily for an album; Apollo Brown is a just producer to extend a hand in helping me do so; and O.C. delivers as expected on what is, after first listen, a great album with potential heavy-replayability due to Apollo's genius in handling of the boards. Seriously, is there a better producer out there currently? I'd like to hear them. Future top 5 of the year? Likely; most certainly deserving of a trophy.

*Intro copy taken from props for the keys.


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