Monday, November 4, 2013

[Mixtape Review] Marki$ Apollo - ChapterXX

Marki$ Apollo is a problem. He is definitely one of the best lyricist in the indie game right now, few can match dude. However, I've known that since listening to his self described "lyrical exhibition" XIII with his project ChapterXX I wanted to know how he stacked up as an artist and I feel CXX proves that Apollo is just more than lyricist. 

The inevitable comparison to Kendrick Lamar is going to come up when discussing Marki$, I don't know he himself has heard them but his flow at times is reminiscent of King Kendrick. It's ironic that the first track "Blvkkk Godz" is over Lamar's "Sherane" but over the course of my listen I found myself moving away from my initial comparison. If anything he is a product of Kendrick's lyricism combined with Pusha T's raw delivery, which is a deadly combination. 

I have to give credit to Apollo for creating one of the most cohesive tapes I've heard since Section.80 and ChapterXX is very reminiscent of it with it's soul sound something that is a trademark of young Apollo. The comparison ends at the production however, the two are very different content wise if Section.80 is for the 80's babies than CXX speaks for the 90's generation. 

Now with most lyrical artist projects can tend to get boring mainly due to weak production (Nas and Lupe come to mind) or due to preachy lyrics/over-the-top lyricism (Cannibus and Jay Electronica i.e.) Apollo keeps it interesting with the production featured on the tape which never bores for the most part. CXX features a nice mixture of highly lyrical tracks and smooth bangers, I definitely recommend listening to it in your car or if you have good headphones or a nice speaker system. The lyrics never outshine the production and vice-versa, the perfect balance. 

I can not praise Apollo's lyricism enough and again the production featured is top notch, a mixture of some familiar industry beats with a enough twist on them to make them Apollo's own and some original. Cohesive sound throughout, it sounds like Marki$ took his time and crafted every track as perfect as possible. Another improvement over his previous effort, HOOKS!!! for a while Apollo didn't have any tracks with a hook or chorus and while it didn't take away from his music I couldn't let him off the hook (no pun intended seriously) when he sent me his various tracks.

Marki$ Apollo is one of the many artist I know personally but he is one of the few I actually can see having what it takes to succeed in the music business. Only time will tell what will be written about him at the end of his time but I honestly believe if he continues on the path he is on, he'll eventually become the success I already see him as. 

+ High lyrical ability 
+ Cohesive sound
+ Excellent production
+ Clear vision 

- Messing up that Tekken reference (lol)