2012 is proving to be a monster year for Detroit producer Apollo Brown. His joint effort with the legendary OC found nearly unanimous critical acclaim, peaked at #8 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts in late April and has seen steady sales ever since — even garnering Album of the Year talk in underground Hip Hop circles.
Always focused on the music and moving forward, Apollo didn’t miss a beat as he prepares another hotly anticipated album to close a banner 2012. This time Apollo teamed up with fellow Motor City resident Guilty Simpson for what will no doubt be his biggest release to date: Dice Game. But before we get into that, let’s rewind a bit and tell the story of Apollo Brown.
In 2009, Apollo Brown won the Detroit Red Bull Big Tune Championships and went on to compete in the National Finals. He was working as a property inspector at the time in nearby Cleveland, Ohio. The economy and especially real estate were still in a sharp downturn. This is about the time the label Mello Music Group (MMG) stepped in and signed Apollo as one of his their premier beatmakers. A week later, he was laid off as property inspector and Apollo replied “Perfect!,” shifting gears to full-time musician.
Apollo came out of the gate hot in 2010 releasing The Reset, a series of reworked tracks in true remix tradition with new music and arrangements for verses by Rapper Big Pooh of Little Brother, Black Milk, MED, Grap Luva and labelmates Kenn Starr, Oddisee and Diamond District, along with a host of others. Apollo then produced Brown Study with female emcee Boog Brown and earned recognition as one of iTunes’ Best Hip-Hop Artists of 2010. But it was Apollo’s late October 2010 release Gas Mask with his group The Left that cemented his place as one of the best new producers in the game.
Early in 2011, Apollo released his first MMG instrumental album, Clouds, and dominated end-of-year lists for Best Instrumental Album. 2011 also saw the release of Daily Bread with Rochester, New York MC Hassaan Mackey. Apollo became no stranger to high profile placements doing work with the likes of Chino XL, Onyx, D12 and Danny Brown. After taking just under a year off to create a new masterpiece, Apollo released his biggest album to date with the legendary OC of DITC entitled Trophies.
Now back to Dice Game.
Two Detroit titans, Apollo Brown and Guilty Simpson, are joining forces for this collaborative album on Mello Music Group. It finds the Motor City duo bearing soul over slow-burning soul chops. Guilty’s usual ferocity is tempered with introspection, while Apollo continues his sublime string work. The entire album is specifically a hood tale that is still widely relatable. The style of this particular brand of Hip Hop is fundamentally seasoned with substance and experience. With lyrics that grip like a handful of ones, and beats that hit like ivory on cement, this is a “dice game” you don’t want to miss.
Mark your calendars, everyone: November 13th.