Ooh, baby, I like it raw. To hell with guest appearances. Gimmicks, begone. This is one emcee, and one producer, making a hip-hop record in its purest form. This is the perfect marriage between Detroit and New York City. This is Apollo Brown and O.C. with Trophies, and what a showcase they have in store for those of you who have yet to get familiar.
You’ve got to respect the consistency on this record. After a 40 second intro that makes quite a huge impact (“I don’t need no god-damn trophy or… award or… recognition… I do this shit ’cause I love to do this shit!”), you are left with 15 tracks of what may have made you fall in love with this genre in the first place. Dope beats, dope rhymes, what more do y’all want?
“The First” has Apollo flaunting Cream’s timeless “White Room” single from 1968. Did not think it was possible, but Brown’s work with the psych-rock classic easily surpasses J57′s delicious cut of the same tune from Homeboy Sandman’s “Angels With Dirty Faces”. As for O.C.? He can’t stop, won’t stop, ala Diddy. He’ll dish out three relentless verses on anything you throw his way. The lyrics are not flashy whatsoever, but his rhymes steadily hit just as hard as the beats that Apollo puts in place.
If you love the way Detroit’s style sounds, and the way New York rappers execute, take comfort in the fact that this hybrid will keep your attention from beginning to end. This record is no-nonsense, and hits straight to the gut. Everything you hear will hit hard; Apollo and O.C. follow a simple structure of making a strong impression, both sonically and lyrically, on every piece they create. Stand this record up against any hip-hop you’ve loved this year. Trophies shines, at the end of the day.