O.C. & Apathy’s New Concept Album Boasts Cold Rhymes & Rugged Beats (Audio)

From Russia with love…of beats and rhymes. Two-and-a-half years after the collaborative album was announced O.C. (D.I.T.C.) and Apathy (Army Of The Pharaohs/Demigodz) release Perestroika. Evident from the first single, which premiered at Ambrosia For Heads, the Brooklyn-to-Connecticut LP plays around with the Soviet/Evil Empire theme. Titles on the record include “Soviet Official,” “Gorbachev” alongside a track carrying the album’s name.

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Kicking off with “Live From the Iron Curtain” a ’90s purist’s Hip-Hop groove with a leisurely swing, the two MCs work well together, offering up an interesting contrast. Apathy’s verse is borderline punch-drunk surrealist arguing for his worth, the best couplet maybe: “The rhyme is a lecture, the violent professor / That shines under pressure, a diamond-ish texture…”

O.C. demonstrates his status as a cult hero of rhyme. Powered along by his trademark raw intelligence and spirited bombast, O.C’s verse brags how he is still a contender. It also appears to be an evocation of a marauding General, with plans on annexing the rest of Europe.

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The MC known for his work with Crooklyn Dodgers, Organized Konfusion, and Diggin’ declares his intentions: “I’m back in trenches so fasten ya seat belts / And brace for the ride of ya life when I start the engine / The game’s a farce now, but I still take it serious …”

To continue, the Bushwick representative spits: “Juice I spew, some view lines as luxurious / The opposite of Fuhrer when I occupy Europe / Gold dust litters the floor when I’m in the buildin’ / Of Mice and Men, I get the… same results with a sword or a pen recordings when the madness begins.” The final lines of the track are: “Dissolution of the Soviet Union / In ’89 you could say we started the revolution.”

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Fans of TrophiesO.C.’s 2012 collaboration Apollo Brown may appreciate the lofty concept, albeit with a different, but equally ’90s-inspired producer. As Big Pun might have characterized it, this record is definitely “rough, rugged and raw” (albeit infused with Soviet-era thaw). Apathy, who divides his verses between the concept, lyrics about his personal life, and Hip-Hop wordplay, has been a linchpin to crews in the past. Perestroika adds nicely to that portfolio.

For those who respect O.C.’s style, see for example the way he can speak of the far-reaching while making it seem forever genuine and close to lived experience. Perestroika marks a definite return to form, alongside Apathy. These vets make something distinct for their catalogs while evoking lost worlds.