Apoc describes his music as post-hip hop, giving a label to the artists and listeners who refuse to be bound by narrow and aging genre definitions. Atop a base of upbeat danceable rhythms, lush synths and distorted samples, he raps, croons and wails subversive, thought-provoking and often humorous lyrics. His subject matter veers from globalization and American foreign policy to celebrity culture to his experiences with women and drugs often within the same song. Listening to recent efforts like 2010’s Boredom Springs Anew, it becomes apparent that Apoc derives his influences from a variety of places including 90s hip hop, 60s doo wop and funk, and the early punk and post-punk of the 70s and 80s. Most of the time, Earmint provides the sonic backdrop for his musings, using an array of analog synthesizers, found sounds and vintage drum machines to create an unique and original sound. He also records with producer Rel as The Ritz, showcasing a darker side, and fellow rapper Racecar (of Modill) as Langston Bukowski, showcasing a lighter side. His manic live shows include him rapping, singing, djing and even playing the theremin, always while dressed in his signature pink and sky blue attire.
- 4 songs featured on 3 different episodes of MTV’s Jersey Shore
- 2 songs featured on 2 different episodes of MTV's 10 On Top
- Music Video for “I’m So Important” featured on Fuse On Demand Chicago
- Music Video for “I’m So Important” featured on Jannus Live On Demand
- Music Video for “I’m So Important”
featured on Idiot Box Videos
- The Ritz - The Night of Day spent 5 weeks on the CMJ hip hop charts
- The Ritz - The Night of Day reached #20 on the CMJ hip hop charts
- The Ritz - The Night of Day was the 2nd most added hip hop record for college stations across the U.S. for the week of 8/2/08-8/9/08
- has toured the American West and Midwest extensively from 2007-2010 solo and with Pseudo Slang, Modill, Green Bros. & others
- has played a number of festivals including a headlining showcase POP Montreal 2011, Florida Music Fest, San Diego IndieFest & Plunge Music Festival
- has played dates in Europe including shows in Paris and Prague in 2009
- has played shows with Lupe Fiasco, Ghostface Killah, Slick Rick, GZA, Pharoah Monch, Evidence, Mix Master Mike, Sole & The Skyrider Band, Eyedea & Abilities, Lyrics Born, Psalm One, Busdriver, Astronautalis & more
Apoc - vocals, theremin
Earmint - beats
Rel - beats
Big Once - turntables
the lovers ep (2003)
lab-oratory - changing seasons (2003)
bootlegg aesthetic ep (2004)
the zooey files (compilation) (2004)
gods & ghosts (2005)
the ritz - blown/heartless 12" single (2007)
the ritz - the night of day (2008)
the ritz - good on ya(that's whats up) digital single (2009)
apoc & brendan b - the planet ep (2009)
boredom springs anew (2010)
3 songs for riley ep (2010)
langston bukowski - down n out in chicago & los angeles (2010)
post-hip hop vol. 1 mix (2010)
post-hip hop vol. 2 mix (2010)
versus vol. 1 ep (2010)
adhocratic / sleeping with the enemy / my generation (2011)
boredom in full bloom (2011)
I'M SO IMPORTANT (OVER 65,000 VIEWS!)
Sleeping with the Enemy
The Facebook Song(I'm So Important)
Romancing the Stoned
Marry. Breed. Die
Drop That feat. Racecar
Corn Chips & Carrots
whiskeyteeth review of Boredom in Full Bloom
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In a San Diego CityBeat article, a reporter said, “Apoc’s music sounds like the last 35 years of hip...In a San Diego CityBeat article, a reporter said, “Apoc’s music sounds like the last 35 years of hip hop and electronic music happening all at once.” This is a perfect explanation of an artist that is sometimes hard to explain.
With an overall ethos that reminds me of Ceschi and other records coming out of the Fake Four camp, Apoc raps about his general dissatisfaction with the current direction of the western world with scathing humor and irony. Boredom in Full Bloom is a collection of sound sketches directed at his distaste for modern Americana, while shining a spotlight on many of its characters and providing personal solutions and opinion. Earmint provides an array of electronic distortion, bass heavy drums, and chaotic layers of synths and futuristic oddball samples, which collectively have been the go-to sound on Apoc's past records.
Apoc's commentary on the drowning-in-information generation's lack of attention, common sense, courtesy, tact, social skills, and obsession with materialism and technology is both refreshing and important. While most rappers continue to numb, Apoc questions and rips the veil off of a generation that continues to bloom amongst a garden full of boredom, apathy, and isolation.
(And with all that being said, I think it's hilarious that a few of these songs have appeared on Jersey Shore. HAHA.)
Popsesh Pick O' The Week
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Jamie Thompson :: special to popmontreal.com This isn’t really a blog, but can we say that rap mu...Jamie Thompson :: special to popmontreal.com
This isn’t really a blog, but can we say that rap music influenced by New York rap music is going to be a thing that happens again? Not that I’m down on southern rap music, I love the stuff. But I grew up with a different approach to rap, one that I am always excited to hear.
Case in point, APOC. The first song I heard by this non-NYC based rapper had a thick sample-based 90-something bpm New-Yorky rap beat and it made my ears prick up right away. His verse on it was decent. No Danny Brown, but he was putting work in, and I was impressed.
But after hearing a bunch of his songs I realized he wasn’t a New-Yorky rapper. He was trying to rap a million styles and every song was different. APOC claims to be “post-hip hop”, as he finds his music “feels too alive to still be considered part of a dying culture.” The funny thing about it is that I only really took notice because he was embracing a part of hip hop that meant so much to me.
I don’t buy it APOC. I think you love hip hop, but because of your race and general upbringing you feel you will always be an outsider to it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You’re actually quite good at it. You have a solid delivery, you can be funny, and you’re on beat. You seem to have taken in a huge breadth of influence, and you’re Pick O’ the Week! Maybe you could embrace that you love hip hop and make some more New-Yorky rap tunes. I just want that to be a thing.
Jamie Thompson has has been a friend of the festival since 2002 and plays in some of your favourite bands. Follow him @svengully and #popsesh on Twitter. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of POP Montreal. Inclusion as the Popsesh Pick O The Week does not guarantee an invitation to play the festival.
GhettoBlaster Magazine review of Langston Bukowski album
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3 out of 4 Apoc and Racecar Langston Bukowski The joint venture between Apoc and Racecar is a mat...3 out of 4
Apoc and Racecar
The joint venture between Apoc and Racecar is a match made in heaven. Here you have two rappers on Langston Bukowski showing their love for the game, all things conscious and are very reminiscent of the Native Tongues era. Using jazzy loops throughout the album and displaying their highlighted skills on "Nothin' But Sunshine" Apoc and Racecar show a lighter side of hip-hop by use of lyrical sarcasm on "Combo Platter #1." The influence of Chicago and Los Angeles from the two doesn't seem present in their raps, but it's certain that they both possess signature skills and are highly talented. Their announcement of social change while remaining good-humored, make this album an intellectual (and entertaining) listen. (self-release) by Jeremy Carmona
whiskeyteeth review of Langston Bukowski
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A few months ago I was singing the praises of Chicago MC RacecaR; an incredibly slept on talent that...A few months ago I was singing the praises of Chicago MC RacecaR; an incredibly slept on talent that some might know as 1/2 of Modill alongside producer K-Kruz. Since his Debilorithmicos feature, I made it a point to keep in contact with him and all his musical endeavors, a connection that quickly paid off when this dope record hit my inbox-- RacecaR and Apoc's (better known as Langston Bukowski) collaboration album, Down & Out in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Featuring production from Earmint, Rel, and K-Kruz, RacecaR and Apoc trade vicious verses over a riot of electro spiked foundations. This is quite a different sound environment for RacecaR, who usually has his feet propped up on K-Kruz' dusty jazz clouds, but the dude was blessed with one of those Black Thought flows that sounds good over any type of sample or instrument.
Peep two of my favorite tracks from the free album below and continue to get yourself affiliated with Modill & RacecaR by downloading it in full and checking the other tracks I tossed up. If you like what you hear, the full PHYSICAL version of the album (along with the 320 kbps digital version) is available to purchase for the gracious and meager price of 5 bones. Cough it up!
Sidenote: Apoc didn't get much love in this post, but it's only because he's about to get his own ode above in a few minutes. Stay tuned.
The Grateful Web review of Boredom Springs Anew
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The release of Boredom Springs Anew from Apoc comes just as the flowers bloom. This hip hop act cann...The release of Boredom Springs Anew from Apoc comes just as the flowers bloom. This hip hop act cannot seem to stay put to any single location. Apoc releases tendrils to each place he blooms; he is more like a vine than any flower or houseplant. When I first met we were both observing the late night bar scene back home in Chicago. We got to talking after finding out that we both had a passion for writing. This was over 10 years ago. Look at him now! This vine has thrived, revived and Sprung Anew!
My favorite is I’m so important, track #2. I, like most in society, have a facebook page. I am ashamed to admit it out loud. Yet I log in daily. Okay, I log in a couple times a day. Okay I have my early morning coffee talk with my facebook friends pretty much every day. There. I said it. Apoc translates the truth of it all and teaches me to laugh at myself.
Chicago Tribune Feature on The Ritz
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Ritz rappers Duo's new CD took long road to reality September 26, 2008|By Chicago Tribune *...Ritz rappers
Duo's new CD took long road to reality
September 26, 2008|By Chicago Tribune
Local rapper Apoc (born Patrick Felsenthal) of hip-hop duo the Ritz has an interest in film noir that borders on obsession.
"I have over 200 of them in my collection," says the MC, who attended a year of film school at Columbia College and routinely works at the Telluride and Sundance film festivals. "I'm drawn to them because there are no heroes. Nobody's totally clean. Everybody has some dirt in their past."
These seedier elements inform the recently released "The Night of Day," an album awash in drugs, booze and women ("All things I do well," jokes the rapper). Buoyed by dark, evocative beats courtesy of producer/bandmate Rel (Rory Miura), a certified black belt (his father is renowned karate instructor Miyuki Miura) with a knack for constructing club bangers, the album also makes smart use of vocal samples, drawing on classic film noirs such as "The Big Sleep" and "Out of the Past."
Despite the inherent strength of the music, there were moments when the MC wondered if the record would ever surface. Though recording was completed in late 2006, the album was caught in purgatory when a label deal fell through at the last minute.
"We considered just releasing it digitally," says Apoc, recounting the brainstorming session that followed the deal's collapse. "But we never talked about shelving it. Once the label thing folded, we decided we could do it ourselves better."
In the interim, Apoc kept himself busy recording; the rapper says he currently has five full albums at or near completion. This should come as little surprise to those who know the MC. The Elmhurst native has been drawn to writing since he was just a tyke, dictating children's poems to his mother before he was old enough to even hold a pen.
"It's not something I have to force," says Apoc of his productivity. "Some weeks I'll write as many as three [songs]."
Even though Apoc began composing his own songs at 13, it wasn't until he was a freshman at York Community High School that he first rapped in front of a crowd, trading freestyles with friends in the school cafeteria. In those earlier days, the MC garnered frequent comparisons to the likes of Slug and Atmosphere -- a trend he didn't necessarily embrace.
"At first I was like, 'I'm my own [rapper]. I can't hear it.' But I see it now. It was derivative," says the rapper. "That really pushed me to oversaturate myself with music. Now I'm more comfortable. I know the direction I want to go in."
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: U.S. Beer Company, 1801 N. Clybourn Ave. The Ritz
cmj review of the ritz album
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“An album to play over and over again until its depths are mined for poetic twists and sampled turns...“An album to play over and over again until its depths are mined for poetic twists and sampled turns that could easily be missed on first listen.”
syffal.com video of the day
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This is Apoc. Apoc is the guy who never should have started rapping, but did, and now he makes songs...This is Apoc. Apoc is the guy who never should have started rapping, but did, and now he makes songs about how he should have never started rapping. Most of the time it's fucking hilarious how easy the shit flows from his fucking mouth. He's my rap doppelganger if I cared about rap with a schtick where I didn't care about rap. I remember maybe five years ago in the basement of the Empty Bottle, Apoc sitting there shaving off the lacquer from the burnt ass table in the middle of the room and making a pile about an inch high. When I asked him what he was going to do with it he says, in complete seriousness:
"You know how many fucking addicts played the Empty Bottle? I'm gonna fucking snort this shit and when I'm done, I'm gonna find the tamale guy and put his kids through culinary school."
toph one lucky 13 feature on the ritz in xlr8r
the daily cougar review of the ritz album
“A cinematic musical masterpiece… nothing else out right now can touch them.”
survivingthegoldenage review of the ritz album
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“Establishes Apoc as a stylistic equal of Big Boi and Jay-Z.” “The Ritz should be to Rel what the G...“Establishes Apoc as a stylistic equal of Big Boi and Jay-Z.”
“The Ritz should be to Rel what the Grey Album was to DangerMouse.”
raves review of the ritz album
“As catchy as it is smart…a hip-hop album that breaks with conformity.”
gapersblock review of the ritz album
“Fresh and original.”
additional ritz press and radio highlights
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Hot CD of the Week – undergroundhiphop.com Featured Mp3 of the Day “Heartless” – xlr8r.com Urb...Hot CD of the Week – undergroundhiphop.com
Featured Mp3 of the Day “Heartless” – xlr8r.com
Urb Next 1000 – urb.com
- Spent 5 weeks on the CMJ hip hop charts
- Reached #20 on the CMJ hip hop charts
- Was the 2nd most added hip hop record for college stations across the U.S. for the week of 8/2/08-8/9/08
typical set list:
the young republican
i'm so important
these dead flowers
romancing the stoned
it's spring again
less hipsters more crime
cornchips n carrots
same damn welcome
on the run
just can't stop
sleeping with the enemy
yankee go home
starving for conversation
marry. breed. die.
set usually runs 20 to 45 minutes consisting of 10 to 15 songs that often transition into each other
There are no upcoming dates at this time.