Gig Seeker Pro


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop




"Review of UW-River Falls concert"

UW-River Falls hosted A.P.R.I.M.E. and Raze in the spring of 2011 as part of their concert series. In an effort to meet student’s needs by providing a variety of genres with true local talent, these artists did just that. A.P.R.I.M.E. and Raze we able to take our students from sitting in the back of the room to dancing in front of the stage.

They were interactive and had the entire crowd engaged from beginning to end. Aside from their charisma, they were also truly musically talented. As their music reached out of our music venue, students were drawn from the commons and dinner to come enjoy the show. A.P.R.I.M.E. and Raze are able to provide a diverse style of music that students can appreciate, which is hard to come across from the average college-circuit musician.

UW-River Falls would be happy to host A.P.R.I.M.E and Raze again on our campus, and I strongly encourage other schools to consider this talent as well.

Amy Aschenbrener
Concerts Programmer
UW-River Falls
- Amy Aschenbrener, Concerts Programmer - UWRF

"AUTOMatic Avoids Auto-Tune On New Album"

A couple of so-called Mutants from Milwaukee's hip-hop super team, House of Mutants, have set out on their own Task Force called AUTOmatic, which features artists A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic. (Got that? House of Mutants -> AUTOmatic -> A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic). AUTOmatic is set to release its new record, "Transistor," on Aug. 28.

Generally speaking, the House of Mutants has sworn to protect and preserve hip-hop's art form and culture from Dr. Wacktagon, a villain who has developed a fear of originality, a small collection of the same 12 songs, and a penchant for auto-tuning. The House of Mutants formed, its members say, to make music that is creative and uncompromising to the tired trends, styles, and sounds that plague modern hip-hop.

AUTOmatic's newest album fits nicely into the House of M Universe by doing its part to avoid the overuse of soullessness Auto-Tune, leaning back to more classic sounds of hip-hop and other genres as well.

"My mother was a singer and my uncle was a jazz/reggae musician, so I was introduced to music at an early age," songwriter A.P.R.I.M.E. says.

"Auto-Tune was designed as a correction tool for pitch and notes, so in that respect Auto-Tune is totally appropriate. However, people have been abusing their Auto-Tune privileges. I can't get on board with that."

Taking a more natural approach brings back obvious and necessary subtleties -- voice inflection, for instance -- and, as a result, more emotion from the emcee himself.

"Transistor" laments the modern day successes of less talented, over-hyped, cookie-cutter artists that currently find themselves on the radio. But the group doesn't just complain about the dregs of the music industry. Lyrically, A.P.R.I.M.E. reveals personal experiences, uplifts listeners with productive thoughts and is quite confident about his talent.

"I have an affinity for using vivid imagery in my narratives to paint a picture for the listener," he says. "Also, I'm trying to chase my influences when I write."

Deft listeners may recognize references to De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr or Afrika Bambaata, among others.

"I look at everyone being better than me or having something to bring to the table that I don't have and that keeps my edges sharp," A.P.R.I.M.E. says. "I'm too humble to brag on my emcee skills, but I believe that I'd be a difficult cat to beat.

"Now, if anyone wants to come at me in a game of Uno ... I'm kickin' rump and taking names."

It's this snarky attitude that also keeps the mood of "Transistor" light by offering a series of amusing skits between tracks, taking on relationships, peer pressure and even a dig at a certain alderman whose artistic preferences were shouted across the city.

"Bob Donovan's reaction was appalling. I was very shocked that he went so far to call those youths liars, vandals and criminals. He clearly doesn't understand the culture nor the element of graffiti. To dismiss it as trash, is very ignorant."

The album is cleanly produced, but not too slick, and travels through a few styles of hip-hop and rap. Trellmatic layers a few genres together, like R&B soul and jazz, proving that even though an artist can return to the classics of the genre there is still plenty of room to carve out a new niche.

Some stand out tracks are, "Once Again," a jazz-infused song that showcases the honest and witty lyrics A.P.R.I.M.E is known for; it makes for an obvious choice for the single.

"The Coolout" and "Everlasting" are both nice smooth tracks while the drama of "Teenage Love" is palpable with meaningful music sitting above dramatic strings. The final tune, a secret track called "Black Gold," is colorful and frenetic and definitely worth waiting for.

If I have one complaint about the album it's that A.P.R.I.M.E. spends some time in the meta realm bragging about how much better and more creative he is than his competition instead of simply being better and more creative. I don't mind a few reminders about the skills as long as those skills aren't overshadowed by the reminders.

Even so, he might be right. If he isn't better than those he teams up with, he is certainly made better when he's competing at the mic. Songs featuring other artists (Frankie Flowers, Raze, and The Rusty Ps, among others) are some of the more exciting tunes to listen to.

"I'd like to see more unity, considering that we're all separately working towards one dream." -

"AUTOMatic Pushes Hip-Hop In Unlikely Directions"

As A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic of the Milwaukee-based experimental hip-hop duo AUTOMatic performed at the 37th Annual Zulu Nation Anniversary in New York City, A.P.R.I.M.E. noticed that one of hip-hop’s luminaries was listening to their music. It was Afrika Bambaataa. “Just to be around all that history, and just to have him give us the head-nod like he approved of what we’re doing, was probably one of the greatest feelings ever,” A.P.R.I.M.E. recalls.

The New York experience was a positive one for the duo, where the audience and industry figures alike were impressed with the pair. As A.P.R.I.M.E. explains, “We were actually able to meet people who want to help us further our careers.” That’s not to say that AUTOMatic is aiming for massive popular success, though. They seem content to grow their audience organically through musical craftsmanship and the singular vision that their music can give voice to the silenced.

As Trellmatic puts it, “We still work our nine-to-fives, so we have our everyday struggles like everybody else, and we’re still affected by the things going on in this economy.” He cites the social awareness of Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield as a prime influence, and even samples their beats for political effect.

The loftier concerns of presidential politics or world affairs, while still important, aren’t as critical to their vision as issues closer to home. A.P.R.I.M.E.’s keen to point that out.

“My interests lie within things that directly affect the common man,” he says. “In my line of work I see a lot of things that a lot of people don’t actually see. I feel that in that state a lot of people are voiceless, and I believe I should be the mouthpiece to voice the struggle.”

For AUTOMatic, the everyday struggle of people putting food on the table for their family is just as worthy of musical and lyrical poetry as the implosion of Haiti following the earthquake. They look for the spaces in between—to speak for the forgotten.

And though their social conscience is manifest, the duo understands that the message must be delivered in an attractive package. Like John Lennon did decades ago, the duo wraps important messages inside catchy compositions. Thus it is no surprise that AUTOMatic’s latest album, Transistor, shows its ties to the golden era of hip-hop by way of groups like Souls of Mischief. It was also influenced by a sonic palette that includes The Beatles, James Brown, New Wave and Steely Dan.

“It’s weird: Even though we do hip-hop, we are not extremely influenced by hip-hop,” A.P.R.I.M.E. says.

Trellmatic notes the duo’s desire to experiment. Their first album, Audiology, he says, “was different from Transistor, and the stuff we’re working on now is different from both. So, we’re always trying to push the limits of what we do.”

The group is working on new material, including one song they are teasing as particularly groundbreaking. “I think when we drop this song it’s definitely going to open up some people’s eyes,” Trellmatic says. “We’re going to take you somewhere else with this track.” - Shepherd Express

"Song for a Day - AUTOMatic "The Rhythm" featuring Element"

"As A.P.R.I.M.E crafts lyrics that center around the ever present theme of positivity, creating music for the love of Hip-Hop, Trellmatic’s production is incredibly easy on the ear. Utilizing the same sample that fueled the hook for the GangStarr classic, “The Illest Brother”, “The Rhythm” has the organic feel that Hip Hop heads often crave so desperately after being let down again and again by so many different artists who pander to what is popular. Don’t sleep on the Automatic’s “Transistor”, which dropped on the 28th of August." -

"What’s New In Dart’s iPod #21 AKA The Labor Day Weekend Edition"

"Hailing from Milwaukee’s House Of Mutants crew comes duo AUTOmatic’s new LP “Transistor”. This album was brought to my attention by JC Poppe (of Grown Man Collective) and I thank him for it. I walked around Boston playing this album and rewinding tracks. The production and bars could’ve easily fit in fine in either the 2nd Golden Era (1992-1996) or the Backpack Era (1997-2002).

If it wasn’t for JC pointing it out to me I would’ve missed out on another quality indie Hip Hop project from the Midwest. Jawns like “Do You Want It”, “Everlasting”, “Flight”, “The Gauntlet”, “Hands of Fate”, “Nobody” and “The Teenage Love” amongst others are candidates for play on The Scrunchface Show. Check this project out as you’ll be kicking yourself in the ass for sleeping later on. It’s up on CD Baby right now. Cop it and support indie Hip Hop." -

"Reviewed: Hip-Hop Hates MS @ Cactus Club"

"Raze and A.P.R.I.M.E. were next up. They were there to have fun and it showed. The time between songs turned into impromptu comedy sketches that provoked the audience to add interjections every so often. They had SPEAK Easy up for a track as well as Frankie Flowers which gave even more dimensions to their already animated stage personas. In my opinion, the hottest song was the second one they did. A.P.R.I.M.E. on the lyrics and Trellmatic on the beat, this track mixed the Boom Bap formula with Bebop – with a walking bass and meandering jazz organ playing under the words. Post-Modern Hip Hop?" - Third Coast Digest

"Album Review - AUTOMatic - Transistor"

"AUTOMatic is a group consisting of emcee A.P.R.I.M.E. and producer Trellmatic. Affiliates of The House of Mutants music group out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Together they bring you "Transistor", an album influenced by the 90's golden era of hip hop. On first listen, the album reminded me of Little Brother's debut classic album "The LIstening" with the radio theme and how every song feeds off the next.

The album's first standout is the uptempo "Once Again". A.P.R.I.M.E. is delivers rhyme after rhyme throughout the track as he speaks on ridding the game of wack emcees and wack rhymes. One of the albums best songs is the title track "Transistor". They reminisce on the great times in hip hop. "Back in the day when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore but somehow I feel the system is flawed, nowadays I don't listen no more, many renditions of the same old song, pop in the disc, turn the radio off".

Halfway through the album, it continues to flow from song to song. And once the bass of the song "Hands of Fate" hits your ears, your probably sold on the sound of AUTOMatic. This sound continues into another solid track "The Teenage Love". The songs about... well... teenage love (duh). "We use to spend all night on the phone, doing homework while watching the same shows, the whole school thought we were cute, walking you to class rocking twin shirts matching Jodeci boots". The song continues to get better as it should easily take most on a nostalgic trip back to high school.

The radio theme on "Transistor" blends the music with hilarious skits throughout the album as songs end and the radio DJ picks up to end most of the songs in funny fashion. Towards the end of the album, A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic continue to deliver great music. From "Everlasting" to the lyrical onslaught "The Nice", AUTOMatic shows their versatility again on the love ballad "Nobody" as they speak on infidelity, home wreckers, and why most men become heartless towards women.

As a whole, "Transistor" is a great album. A diamond in the rough of an industry filled with the same recycled music over and over again. In an era when most hip hop music lacks creativity and originality, AUTOMatic crafts an album filled with soul, passion, and depth. The radio theme on "Transistor" keeps the music refreshing throughout the album. The production from top to bottom is solid and A.P.R.I.M.E. shines on the entire album and on some cases even sounds like a young Phonte and Mos Def (don't trip out backpackers). All in all, "Transistor" is dope and well worth checking out for people in need of new, refreshing music, AUTOMatic is a go." -

"Album Review: AUTOMatic - Transistor"

"Milwaukee isn’t necessarily known as a hip-hop hotbed to the rest of North America – aside from Brandon Jennings’ throwback hairstyles and his double-nickel against the Warriors. But after listening to AUTOMatic’s Transistor, perhaps it should be regarded in the same light as its NBA franchise: up and coming.

AUTOMatic is made up of emcee A.P.R.I.M.E. and producer Trellmatic – and they are both veterans of the game. As members of the Milwaukee collective House of Mutants, both have appeared on wax (as part of House of M’s The Alternate Reality Of… and on their own debut Audiology) and their veteran status definitely shapes the album. And so does their obvious love of hip-hop music – particularly that of the Golden Era.

The album begins with the familiar sound of scanning the radio frequencies and with the introduction of WHOM (Mutant Radio). The station makes numerous appearances throughout the album at the end of tracks and is eerily reminiscent of Little Brother’s WJLR station from The Listening (yes that was intended foreshadowing).

Right from the start, A.P.R.I.M.E. spits lyrics that recall the good ole days of rap. In fact, he emcee admits that he wants to “rekindle the flow from back in the day.” And with outstanding sample-driven production from Trellmatic that combines both jazzy elements and straight boom-bap, it’s a combination that is successful – although a bit underwhelming.

With “Higher,” however, AUTOMatic hits their stride. The track’s opening conjures up memories of The Digable Planets and A.P.R.I.M.E.’s first verse features a number of Tribe Called Quest references. Trellmatic’s track offers the best of the Golden Era sound and A.P.R.I.M.E. turns to some more Native Tongue Legends in verse two: De La Soul. The track ends with an interpolation of the sample from “Stakes is High” and Transistor is officially off to the races.

A.P.R.I.M.E. is joined by fellow House of Mutants member Raze on “Hands of Fate” and the results are fantastic. Both emcees deliver verses that describe their love of the music; A.P.R.I.M.E. even suggests that he “exists on this earth to rip every verse.” And he lives up to that claim. CT provides vocals on the back in the day love story “The Teenage Love.” While the song concept is nothing new, Trellmatic’s production, featuring a sped up vocal sample, simply can’t be denied.

Not wanting to be pigeon-holed in terms of production style, Trellmatic offers up some serious boom-bap, and scratched chorus (courtesy of the one and only Greg N-I-C-E), on “The Nice”. His partner in rhyme doesn’t disappoint on the lyrical tip and even starts things off on the throwback tip (Tick Tock you don’t stop).

Milwaukee is well represented on the album. Fellow Mutant Gambit joins in the festivities on “The Gauntlet” and the chemistry between the two emcees is evident as they pass the mic back and forth during the track. The Rusty P’s add their unique style to “The Elevation”.

But, at the end of the day, it’s A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic who are the stars. The album’s closing cut (not including the WHOutro and two bonus cuts), an uptempo track entitled “Party Jam,” showcases AUTOMatic in a nutshell. A James Brown impersonator opens the track and continues to adlib while A.P.R.I.M.E. kicks a 2010 verse about doing old-school dances and rocking the crowd; his second verse is done in a cadence and style reminiscent of the pre-Golden Era of rap. Neither verse sounds out of place over Trellmatic’s production.

With Transistor, AUTOMatic should be included in any modern Native Tongues hip-hop discussion. From their WHOM skits to their references to hip-hop’s Golden Era, the album is reminiscent of Little Brother’s debut disc (the last heirs apparent to the Native Tongue throne). And that is a good thing. A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic clearly accept the challenge of keeping the spirit of a musical movement alive. The listeners are the beneficiaries." [Nicholas Candiotto] - Potholes In My Blog

"The A.V. Club's Top 15 Milwaukee Albums of 2010"

"The strain of retro conservatism running through Milwaukee hip-hop can be pretty tiresome no matter how much you happen to love A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. But no matter how stridently nostalgic rapper A.P.R.I.M.E. and DJ Trellmatic of AUTOMatic get for the late ’80s and early ’90s on Transistor, there’s no denying how consistently pleasurable and disarmingly straight-forward this record is. A.P.R.I.M.E. is one of the city’s most likeable MCs, with a smooth and clear flow that locks in with Trellmatic’s soul and jazz backdrops with a casual, laid-back assertiveness. Who cares how good things were back in the day when people are still making rap records this good in 2010?" [Steven Hyden] - A.V. Club Milwaukee


2008: A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic are AUTOMatic - Audiology (album) /

2009: (As part of a larger group) House of M - The Alternate Reality Of... (album) /

2010: AUTOMatic - Transistor (album) /

2010: "Higher" - single from Transistor in regular rotation on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee /

2011: "Fresh Dressed" featuring SigNif - single version from Transistor /

2011: "The HBs" featuring Sarah Fierek & Ms. Cream - single from upcoming 3rd album, released in conjunction with European radio station Laid Back Radio



AUTOMatic Music is the perfect name for the hip-hop group formed by Milwaukee based emcee A.P.R.I.M.E. and producer Trellmatic. The perfection that comes from their musical collaboration is simply, automatic.

The group got their start in 2007 after years of being fans of each other’s work. A.P.R.I.M.E. has been putting out music since 2004, and an unexpected exit of his partner in his previous group Class:Sick left him once again looking for new ways to release his creativity. Trellmatic has been producing music for people since the early 2000’s and after doing an entire album for Arizona based emcee Mr. Miranda (then known as Smooth), he too was looking for a new challenge.

2008 saw the release of their first underground album, Audiology, an album full of potential that was well received by the Milwaukee hip-hop community. A.P.R.I.M.E. took to the stage around the city to increase the awareness about the new project him and Trell did, in addition to working on building up hype for the greater collective they were a part of, the House of Mutants.

In 2009, the House of M decided that it was time to solidify their legacy in Milwaukee hip-hop history by becoming a group and releasing an album. The Alternate Reality Of… came out in August of ’09 to an incredible amount of local hype, seeing the legendary club Mad Planet filled to capacity, and local media having nothing but praise for the album. A.P.R.I.M.E. was the stand out leader of the group on the album, showing exponential growth in skill between 2008 and 2009, and Trellmatic’s production provided a crucial dimension of smooth to the often aggressive release.

For the next several months the M’s music began to filter into people’s ears all across the world and they booked dozens of shows around the Midwest, rocking stages at bars, clubs, and universities. AUTOMatic Music took this hype and used it to catapult them into writing and recording the follow up to Audiology. Through several months of hard work, the throwback classic track filled Transistor was born.

The chemistry that A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic have is further cemented by the work done on Transistor, again showing growth in their development, not only as a duo, but singularly at their respective crafts. The music from the new album has hit the underground hard, finding love in places all across the US through several key blogs as well as overseas in Belgium and Germany. The sincerity with which AUTOMatic Music shows the founding fathers of hip-hop respect in undeniably charming and the work ethic that they employ is exactly what you’d expect from people who are doing the art form of hip-hop out of love and not out of greed.

AUTOMatic has played several universities in Wisconsin, played a set at the 2011 88Nine Radio Milwaukee Awards in addition to being nominated for several 88Nine awards, was nominated for a 2011 Wisconsin Area Music Industry award, was invited to open for De La Soul at Summerfest 2011 (the world's biggest music festival), as well as being invited to play a set at the 2011 African World Festival.

AUTOMatic Music is the next best thing to the golden era of hip-hop, and it’s the revival of the golden era sound that AUTOMatic Music is here to bring back, and will bring back, because when the music that you do is automatic, there’s no way that it can be denied.