Apathy is a 42 year old emcee/producer from Willimantic, Connecticut coming up just 2 decades back as a member of the Demigodz & the Army of the Pharaohs collectives founded by Open Mic & Vinnie Paz respectively. He was also signed to Atlantic Records at one point, but left due to creative differences. Since then The Alien Tongue has built up quite the solo discography on his own, with my favorites being 2011’s Honkey Kong! & even his previous album The Widow’s Son in 2018. But after years in the making, Ap is finally releasing his 7th full-length outing.
The title track following the “Headwater” intro kicks things off with a glossy tribute to his father & after “The Ocean” interlude, we get some cinematic string sections “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” & the lyrical theme of it was inspired by the opening line off one of my favorite Public Enemy songs “Welcome to the Terrordome”. We go into a more soulful direction with the confrontational “We Don’t Fuck Around” just before Styles P & Lil’ Fame hop aboard the guitar-laced “P.S.E. (Public School Era)”, which conceptually is based around the opening line off the iconic Biggie joint “Party & Bullshit”.
Anoyd & Chris Webby are enlisted for the fittingly aquatic “Underwater” as they spit about slippin’ off the deep end before “River of Light” provides us with a progressively layered instrumental & lyrics proclaiming himself as a King cut from a different cloth. The song “Force Fields” with Pep Love & Tajai finds the trio hopping on an quasi Middle Eastern-inspired beat from Teddy Roxpin letting haters know you can’t break them leading up to the optimistic “A Rainy Day in Connecticut”.
Meanwhile on the Stu Bangas-produced “Mermaid Music”, we get an organ-laced tribute to Ap’s wife whereas the Snak the Ripper-featured “Dream Sequence” goes back into a more orchestral territory as they go in about not wanting to wake up from the dreams they have. And just before “The Mouth” outro, the final song “Remember the Night” reunites with Hayze is a somber depiction of how they always do their deepest thinking at sundown.
I have a tendency to enjoy artists at their most mature (i.e. Book of Ryan) & that’s what Ap has done on Where the River Meets the Sea. A couple of the features I could’ve done without but I think his production has only gotten better with time & you can really hear the vulnerability in The Alien Tongue’s voice throughout his performances.