Apollo Brown first graced the national scene as the winner of the Detroit/Midwestern leg of the Red Bull Big Tune producer beat battle. The Detroit producer now brings us his official debut project,The Reset. The fifteen track opus sets out to bring the Detroit beatsmith into the forefront and judging from the title, keep itself in heavy rotation.
The Reset boasts a guest list of emcees such as Rapper Big Pooh, Black Milk, Diamond District, Finale, Ken Starr and more. Not to be overshadowed by the noteworthy guest list, Apollo Brown attempts to remain the star of the show, utilizing uniquely soulful chops and dirty drums. But does the the outstanding production still allow his guests room to shine? In a word, yes. “Hungry” kicks the album off, bringing forth a dope boom-bap track with Big Pooh and Black Milk trading rhymes on top. The album dips a bit with the slow and unspectacular “Lower That Boom”, featuring Oddisee, Kenn Starr and Sareem Poems. Though it boasts a nice guest list, the track comes through as just ho-hum. Overall, it’s one of those love it or hate tracks, where listeners will either dig the lyrics and keep it moving or hate the slow, lagging beat.
Apollo Brown is at his best on The Reset with the straight headnodders. This is displayed on “Beauty Of A Day”,which noticeably raises the energy level and the system blowing “Real Detroit”. Turn your bass down on the latter in the case that you don’t want blown speakers. Lyrically,both tracks shine, but the beauty is in the canvas that Apollo lays for the emcees to paint on.”Seasons” works as a solid brick in the building, while “Brag Language” doesn’t capture the ear of the listener and again slows the album down. The crown jewel of the The Reset follows,with the fantasic “Streets Won’t Let Me Chill”. Though used to death, “The funky drummer” sample really provides a nice backbone for the well crafted beat. Diamond District rides the beat Kentucky Derby style and provides a track that stays on repeat. Well done.
Overall, The Reset is a solid, well done effort. The album provides other positives in the laid back “Balance” and the sick “Odds Ain’t Fair”. Grap Luva makes a welcome cameo on “Brainwash” as he kicks it with Yu and Finale. As it ends with “Just Think”, “Propa” and “Ghetto Soul Music”, The Reset provides the listener with a trio of more solid, unpretentious and flat out dope headnodding tracks. The Reset does not change the game, but it’s a solid release that hip-hop fans will enjoy. The title is a good one, as this is one to start over.
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