Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I remember the very first time I heard the name “Apollo The Great”… I was like, “Either this cat is that cocky or he’s that good”… but when I heard “History In the Making” I had no doubt… Apollo is simply that great! Lyrically gifted individual w/ unbelievably deep understanding of what hip-hop really is… Apollo The Great is the artist to look up to. If he doesn’t make it in the rap game then I don't know a thing about hip-hop.


Who is Apollo The Great? Name 5 words that describe you.

5 words that describe Apollo The Great = Way ahead of his time!

Artists usually claim that their “on-stage persona” & who they are in everyday life differ a lot. Does it work for you? If yes, then what's the difference? Can you call Apollo The Great your alter ego?

My on-stage persona isn’t THAT much different from me in everyday life… The only major difference would be my energy level. It’s just something about being on that stage, I feel elevated!! And not in the sense of literally being higher up on the stage, but actually HI. Other than that it’s pretty similar. I dress the same way I would chillin posted on the Ave or something... (Laughing) I’m not trying to impress nobody with flashy cloths n jewelry… just my words...that’s Hip-Hop.

How did you get the name Apollo The Great? What's the meaning behind it?

The name "Apollo The Great" came about after another CORNEY rapper got signed with my original nick name "Ace". So with that I changed my name. In Greek/Roman history they have many Gods, and Apollo was the God of music, and poetry.... need I say more? (laughing) That’s who I am. I plan to prove that more and more with every letter, of every word, of every bar, of every verse, of every song I do! So that’s what my name means...its Showtime with Apollo!!!

How would you describe your music/style?

My music is Hip-Hop. REAL HIP-HOP. No gimics no games just real shit! Don’t get it confused, by "real" I don’t mean "Murda murda kill kill" in everything I say...I mean Honesty. I speak about what I live, see, or what I’m going through. I speak about how I feel. My music has an emotion tied to it.

What makes you different from the other artists?

Unlike OTHER "ARTISTS" who make any kind of song to make a few dollars and sell ring tones or records… I attempt to make my listeners think at least a little bit when they hear my music. Now n days you can hear a new song on the radio for the first time, and by the end of the song you know the words. That’s because these "rappers" don’t put any thought in to their songs or verses its "bubble gum rap" you know. A,B,C,D, 1,2,3,4 simple shit! THEY CANT RAP! I’m a MC! (Mic-Checker, Mic-Chemist, I Move the Crowd) that’s what I do, because I CAN RAP! (Laughing)

How did hip-hop impact your life? What do you love most about hip-hop?

Hip-Hop is life. It’s not just the music, it’s a culture. We live this shit! (Lauging) So it impacted my life on a 24/7 everyday basis. What I love most about it is its ability to make you feel that way only Hip-Hop can. Like back in the day the feeling of being in a battle or a cyfer was soo exciting! That rush it gives me. There’s nothing like it.

When did you realize that you had a talent for rapping? How did it happen?

I realized I could rap I guess in the 6th grade that must have been the year 2000, or 2001 I don’t know. But on my birthday my moms got me this little karaoke machine and I would write verses and record myself on cassette tapes of there lol.

Are there any people whom you consider to be your hip-hop mentors?

I don’t feel as though I have any "mentors", but my cousin Verb Spielberg is always there to lend a helping hand or give advice when needed… As he would say "Ace flow is water, I just showed him were to swim!" (Laughing) That’s my big Bro though so yea him if anybody. That’s it.

Do you remember you first time in the booth?

(Laughing) I do remember my first time in the booth. The guy who is now my manager had a studio in his house waaaay back then. He had a group of guys whom he was working with at that time and they recorded there. I heard about their studio and wanted to come check it out. They told me I couldn’t come unless I battled somebody. So I had to earn my chance to record. The day I went over I had two of my boys with me, and all of these other guys were at the studio. So of course they put their best guy up against me. I had to start the battle of since I was the "no name new kid" so I spit a verse and all his boys went CRAZY!!!! (Laughing) The guy I battled was so pissed but he had nothin for me! Dig this (laughing) He was so desperate to attempt to shut me down that he pulled out his notebook in the middle of the battle and read me his newest rap! (Laughing) That was a good day… so from then on I recorded there for free guess I earned my spot.

What emcees influenced you as an artist?

My influences were Nas, Tupac, Big, AZ, Wu-Tang, Jay-z (reasonable doubt) and last but definitely not least Verb Spielberg!

Being an emcee ain't easy… esp if you make that gimmick-free music. What motivates you to be the artist you are?

I’m motivated to be the artist I am by all of these here today gone tomorrow rappers being the artists they are! The more wack shit the industry puts out, the harder I go with this real shit! So they motivate me. It ain’t easy but somebody gotta do it, and who better then the God of music!? (Laughing)

What do you like about being an indie artist?

I like being an indie artist because of the freedom to do and say what I want. Making my music. If anybody wanted to sign me, and DIDNT want to give me my creative freedom the deal would never be made.

Do you have a song that can be characterized as “if you dig this song, you dig what Apollo The Great is all about”?

If I had to pick a song that depicted what I’m about it would probably be either "Return of the real" or "This is hip-hop"

What are your views on the current state of hip-hop & its future?

It’s pretty sad in Hip-Hop right now on the mainstream anyway.. Actually for the most part there is no hip-hop on the mainstream its POP but they callin it hip-hop cause black people making the music! *smh* but I’m not worried about its future though. Not at all...I finished my last album H.I.M II (History Is Made) and it will be out by the end of this month early next month so that’s a start. There has always been a young cat to change the way everybody was rappin, a guy to step in and raise the bar. Rakim, Nas and so on....But you know what they say about history? IT REPEATS ITS SELF!! *hint hint* (laughing) Don’t be surprised if that’s my next album title…oh shit I’m giving away too much! (Laughing)

How do you see yourself in the rap game in the next 10 years? In terms if hip-hop, what's your ultimate goal?

10 years from now I expect to have changed the game! Became a major influence on hip-hop culture. I expect to be one of the greats. A legend that’s my goal.

How do you feel on stage? Do you like performing live?

I fiend for a live performance! (Laughing) I love being on the stage. It’s a natural hi! I don’t wanna say its "better" than sex, but its almost the same level. (Laughing) When I perform it doesn’t feel like me though, it feels like an out of body experience. Like I’m hovering over top of my body and watchin myself perform. It’s kind of hard to explain the feeling, but something like that. (Laughing)

“H.I.M. II” is about to be dropped. What can we expect from it? What's its concept?

H.I.M II is dropping in a few weeks and you can expect real music. You can expect real lyrics, the kind you need to rewind a few times to try and learn them. (Laughing) There’s something for everybody on the album though. All I can say is experience it for yourself. (Laughing)

What are your other upcoming projects?

I’m workin on "Apollo's Creed the mixtape" and a few other mixtapes. My next album. I’m always workin so just be on the look out for anything with Apollo The Great on it and go get it! (Laughing)

Production-wise, who do you work w/? What does it take for a producer to make you wanna work w/ him or her?

I work with a select few producers mainly YFame. My other guy is DJWhiteMike. Also Fel Sweetenberg. For me to want to work with a producer they have to be original! Most producers make the same kind of beats they hear on the radio and that’s it. I hate that! If you don’t make your music from the heart and soul most likely WE wouldn’t work out together because you can NEVER mix something real with something fake...its like oil and water. (Laughing)

What's WondaMuzik? How did the whole movement start?

WondaMuzik is a collective group of young indie solo artists who all are working toward a common goal: to be the best at what we do. The Movement started soon as I got there!!! (Laughing) Naa but its a working progress we grindin.

Let's imagine that you could record a song w/ any artists… dead or alive… Who would that be? Name your dream team: a few artists & a producer. What kind of record would that be?

If I could do A song with anybody it would probably be THE BEST HIP-HOP RECORD OF ALL TIME! AN EPIC SONG! with DJ Premier on the beat, Apollo The Great featuring Nas, Biggie, and Jay-z the song would be called "East Coast Kings", and I’m dead serious! (Laughing)

Do you listen to other indie artists? If yes, name a few… besides WondaMuzik artists (Laughing)

Ummmmm well besides Verb, Fame and WondaMuzik artists I don’t listen to much else. Unless its golden age hip-hop (90's hip-hop).

Do you have any mottos/models you live by?

I guess a motto I live by is..."Everyday I wake up is another chance to make History" so I try to live everyday like I’m trying to make history. (Laughing)

Any shout outs?

Shout out to Gina for the interview, and just bein as dope as you are! Shout out to my Bro’s Verb, Harp, Chap, the whole fam. Shout to my boy Fame! My manager Johnny Agg, DJ Deuce, Radio, WondaMuzik! Shout out to everybody who took the time to read this interview! And last but not least shout to CAMDEN county NJ Westfield Ave 38th street!! You already know PEACE!

Special thanks to Apollo The Great for taking time out for this interview!

For more Apollo The Great check out his myspace & twitter pages.

I used 2 ♥ him

Common used to love H.E.R. & I used to love H.I.M. (Hip-hop Is My Muse) ... but true love never dies ... this is my L.O.V.E. S.T.O.R.Y.


About Me

They call me Janus cuz I’m a little bit of every opposition. I’m quiet & loud, happy & sad, cocky and shy, rough & ladylike… but most of all I’m hip-hop. I started this blog to share my thoughts and ideas with the world, so feel free to leave your comments and to holla at me. Welcome to my world! Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/ms__lady