Apathy Previews Next Album, "Honkey Kong," August 23 Release Confirmed

posted June 20, 2011 02:00:00 PM CDT | 52 comments

Apathy Previews Next Album, "Honkey Kong," August 23 Release Confirmed

UPDATE: Apathy's long-awaited next solo album lives up to its early promises, with DJ Premier, DJ Muggs, Da Beatminerz and Xzibit all involved.

On Friday, (December 3rd), the "King of Connecticut," Apathy, provided an early sneak peak to HipHopDX of his forthcoming third formal full-length, Honkey Kong (tentatively due in March). From the preview he provided to DX, the follow-up to Ap’s 4X-rated Wanna Snuggle? is shaping up to be one of the best boom bap-based Hip Hop albums of 2011.  

The production for Honkey Kong is being helmed by a legendary lineup of beatmakers including DJ Premier (for a currently untitled track featuring fellow Demigodz crew-member Celph Titled), Da Beatminerz (“Peace Connecticut”), DJ Muggs (“Fear Itself”), Statik Selektah (“It’s Only Hip Hop”), and Apathy himself (roughly half the album’s tracks, including “Be A Better Man” featuring Bishop Lamont and Blue Raspberry).

While the aforementioned songs appear to be a lock for Honkey Kong, (and buzz single, “Make Alotta Money,” has already been released for sale digitally), Apathy made it abundantly clear during his discussion with DX that not all of the details for his epic junior release have been finalized as of this date. The witty wordsmith revealed that still to-be-determined for the album are a currently untitled production from Massachusetts-based beatmaker Teddy Roxpin (who helmed Wanna Snuggle? standouts “I’m A Demigod” and “Hard Times On Planet Earth”), a cameo from Xzibit, and appearances from “a couple legends that I’m reaching out to that might be a very good possibility [for] ending up on the album.”

In addition to revealing the album details above during his Q&A with DX, the always-grinding emcee/producer (who has recently constructed tracks for Xzibit, B-Real and Young De’s group The Serial Killers, Chino XL, and Eternia, and whose co-productions alongside Get Busy Committee group-member Scoop Deville are slated for Busta Rhymes’ next release) revealed the surprising origins of Snoop Dogg’s Scoop-produced smash “I Wanna Rock.” The onetime Atlantic Records signee also shared his thoughts on Lupe Fiasco’s current battle with Ap’s former recording home, before concluding his interview with some stunning revelations about his own recent battle with a foe more mighty than any record label.      

HipHopDX: The last time we spoke was a little over a year ago…right before Wanna Snuggle? dropped. I’m still personally disappointed that an album with joints that stay in my [MP3 player] rotation like “Hard Times On Planet Earth” and “I’m A Demigod” seemed to get slept-on the way it did.   

Apathy: Wanna Snuggle? is my masterpiece album. I love Eastern Philosophy, but I thought Wanna Snuggle? was like the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. And it’s like, I did as much as I can do with it, but the problem is that the accelerated level of attention deficit disorder that fans have been given because of the constant bombardment and saturation with mixtape shit and album after album – just shitting out albums – [has made it so] that no matter what, even if people really like your music, it’s only ingrained in their psyche to appreciate it for a super-short amount of time and then keep it moving.             

DX: Now you know I gotta ask about the Premo stuff, since you leaked that out through Twitter. First, how in the world did you get Premo to lace you for the new album? I’m always hearing his line to get beats is a mile long.

Apathy: I met [DJ Premier] on several occasions and he showed love. And one of the last times I saw him, almost a year ago to this date actually, he was deejaying in Providence, Rhode Island. And I went up there, and Preme showed me mad love and said he had been playing my “Shoot First” joint with B-Real [over] a Mike Shinoda beat, and Celph Titled on that. He said he had been spinning it at a show, and he loved that record. And he asked me, he’s like, “Yo, when are we doing a record?” And I was like, “Are you fuckin’ kidding me? C’mon, let’s do it.” So him and I hadn’t talked for a minute [after that]. Then I told DJ Eclipse, “Next time you see Preme, tell him I wanna do a joint.” So Eclipse facilitated that whole thing. And Premier was like, “Of course, man, let’s go…” And then we just started the process, we started the ball rolling. We got all the business squared away and we’re ready to go.    

DX: Did y’all work together in the studio, or was it an email thing?

Apathy: It hasn’t even started yet. Preme made the beat, but it’s definitely gonna be an email thing. Preme’s so busy, and I’m so busy up here with just regular life shit, that – Those days are very rare when you actually go up in the studio with somebody.  

DX: Besides Premo you got some more classic production coming I’m sure from Da Beatminerz. Did Evil Dee reach out to you…?

Apathy: Mr. Walt and Evil Dee and I are friends, man. I consider those dudes above the acquaintance level. Those are my homies… I like those dudes a lot, they’re really good people. Me and Walt talk all the time… We even work together on a lot of stuff. I help them out with certain shit, and they help me out with stuff… Eventually, I wanna do with them an Apathy and Beatminerz album. It’s just a matter of us getting all the other projects we got out of the way [first].  

DX: How come Scoop Deville don’t be giving you that Snoop Dogg shit? [Laughs]

Apathy: We got the group [together with Ryu], Get Busy Committee. And actually the Snoop Dogg song, the “I Wanna Rock” was actually a Ryu solo song. And when Snoop heard it and wanted it, there’s no question [with] the way we are, we’re like, “Oh fuck, take that shit. Go get the money. Go do the big shit.” So, if there was ever a case where Scoop did a beat for me and like a Jay-Z or a 50 Cent wanted to use it, I want [Scoop Deville] to go in that direction. And another thing too, if you listen to my albums, Get Busy Committee is one sound, and it has that Scoop Deville sound to it. But, all my underground albums are – I purposefully make my shit very grimey, very dirty, very throwback, very hardcore Hip Hop. And it’s a completely different sound [from Get Busy Committee].        

DX: Now, you know I had to get to the obvious question of why Honkey Kong? Is there any kind of meaning behind the title…?

Apathy: Nah man, it’s just funny. It’s just some slick shit: like I’m a white dude…and a gorilla [on the mic]. It’s just some real slick tongue-and-cheek shit… Phonte was on Twitter, and Phonte was like, “Greatest album title of all time.” And Mr. Walt, everybody who hears the title Honkey Kong is like that shit is amazing. Everybody flips out.

DX: What are you gonna do for the cover art though? [Laughs]

Apathy: Uh, we’ll see. I already got an idea: probably like a fuckin’ albino gorilla or some shit like that.

DX: [Laughs] And…are you still doing it strictly Demigodz Enterprises or are you gonna link back with a label to put this album out?

Apathy: We got a label that we’re doing called Dirty Version. Dirty Version is me and Celph Titled’s label. And we’re just putting everything out through that. It doesn’t even make sense at this point anymore to go thru any labels. Basically, we would gain the same results if we went through a label and just make a shitload less money. So, there’s really no point in being on any label at this point in our careers.

DX: Speaking of labels, I just thought I’d get from a former Atlantic Records artist any advice you might have for Lupe Fiasco in his war with Atlantic?

Apathy: Oh shit, Lupe [Fiasco] doesn’t need any advice from me, man. Lupe’s a very smart dude, and he’s gonna come out on top… [But] I’m not even sure what [his] position is. Is it that he’s not getting the push from them and he wants more push?

DX: Well, yeah. It’s like, they abandoned him and then they came back [around], but… They put out “The Show Goes On,” which is hot, but then they still haven’t [released] a video for it or anything.

Apathy: Yeah, it’s like when you lose interest from the building and when you lose complete confidence from the building, it’s almost damn-near impossible to get that back. You might as well just say, “Alright, fuck this, I’m out…” A record label’s building and all the departments involved and everybody involved are almost like fickle, buzz-oriented girls. And once you lose that initial buzz that you created, they don’t give a fuck about you. You’ll walk up in the building and they’ll smile and be like, “Yo, what’s up man? Oh shit! I’m feeling the new shit.” But, they’re not gonna work it. It’s a very phony, corny situation… Like I said, Lupe definitely doesn’t need any advice from me, but I would say, Lu, fuckin’ jump ship, get the fuck outta there. You might as well take everything that’s built up from this point and go cake-off your own shit independently. Or go with somebody who completely gets Lupe Fiasco like Kanye West’s label or some shit like that.

DX: Alright, I wanna wrap up this quick album preview by getting a rundown of everything else you got on deck for 2011 besides Honkey Kong?

Apathy: Demigodz album is coming out too. We’re almost done with that… I’m doing a majority of [the production for the album]. And it’s some of the illest shit ever. Like, some of these songs are gonna be undisputed Hip Hop classics. It’s un-fuckin-real how good this album is.

DX: So anything besides that and your album…? I know Get Busy Committee’s supposed to be coming back, right?

Apathy: Yep, Get Busy, we got a brand new album… Opening Ceremony is the album title and the first track that was released off it. We got a brand new video that just came out. And, I think we’re in the mixing phase of the album. The album’s being mixed. [But] I’m not even sure what the release date is.


DX: I saw that video. You just weren’t there for when they shot it or - ?

Apathy: Yeah, I mean - If you want a really fuckin’ ill story…if you want an exclusive story that’ll really fuck people up, what’s been going on with me the last five months is absolutely insane. Like, I had a little meltdown. And I wasn’t gonna really go public with this, but I don’t give a fuck now. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people who’ll be able to relate to me. But, I went from July [and] being in Switzerland [and other countries] overseas, and doing huge shows in front of 50,000 people with no problem, and then all of a sudden [coming] home and something snapped in my brain. And I developed a severe panic, anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. I’ve barely left my house. I still have not driven a car in the past five months. I got a brand new Audi sitting in my driveway [but] I don’t drive [it]. It’s hard for me to go to the supermarket. But, things have been getting better. Like, in the last couple months I been better. But like a few months ago, four or five months ago, absolute hell. My life was unbelievable. I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t go anywhere. I was having problems. It was just unreal, like uncontrollable. Some people get anxiety when they go out, [but] my anxiety was still going on when I was sitting at home doing nothing… It was just non-stop, all the time. It felt like constantly having a bad high.

DX: I’m not trying to sound unempathetic or anything, but it’s like, everybody hates people. [Laughs] Like, nobody wants to really deal with people…   

Apathy: Well, it was deeper than that. It was definitely something – See that’s the thing, it’s not something you can just get over and not hate dealing with people. People didn’t really bother me, it was [more] like a chemical imbalance in my brain where adrenaline gets released or something. Something is off. And I’m going through some treatment things, and going through some shit right now, but it’s still fairly prevalent in my life. Like, [I haven’t been] doing shows for awhile. I’m trying to chill out. I mean, I’m working like a muthafucka at home, but it’s a crazy thing… It came out of nowhere. It hit me like a fuckin’ ton of bricks. And I’m always the type of dude who’s always on the move and it’s never bothered me and I’ve always been comfortable and always cool, but it definitely crept up and hit me like a fuckin’ Mack truck.

DX: Well I wish you the best with that. I wasn’t trying to sound like a dick or anything, I just know when I print [what you just told me] you know the comments are gonna be -

Apathy: Of course. And…any kids who have something negative to say are [usually] judgmental pieces of shit. 21, 22, 23-year-old kids who don’t know a fuckin’ thing about life, ‘cause I didn’t know a fuckin’ thing about life when I was 23. Or, [they’re] just angry assholes. And that’s the rarity, that’s the minority. Most people show love. But for the people who do hate, you would be insane to think I even slightly give a fuck about what you think about Apathy or anything to do with my life. So, I put that information [about what I’m going through] out there for my fans or anybody [else] who can relate to it, and who’s going through a tough time. But, I don’t give a fuck what [anybody else thinks]. Not even slightly. And I even want you to put in there that I’m not even depressed-sounding talking to you. I’m upbeat and happy and cool. It’s just, it is what it is.  

(December 7, 2010)

UPDATE: Apathy's Honkey Kong has been confirmed for August 23, 2011 release. DJ Premier, DJ Muggs, Da Beatminerz and Evidence are all confirmed producers. Xzibit, Vinnie Paz and Action Bronson are among the guest emcees.

Purchase Music by Apathy

Purchase Music by Get Busy Committee

Purchase Music by Demigodz

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