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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Apathy - Snuggling With Old Soul
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Apathy may not be an old soul, but thanks to a rigorous travel schedule that has involved going back and forth to LA for the past three years, his latest album, Wanna Snuggle, is filled with a heaping dose of just that.

According to the Willimantic emcee his trips to LA had quite the impact on him musically. “LA has a huge oldies culture,” he explains, “the oldies they play out there aren’t like the oldies anywhere else. Everywhere else you hear the typical Motown stuff. In LA they have a lot of rare, obscure, stuff, so just being out there you hear stuff and you get inspired off it and I think that’s probably where I got a lot of ideas for the samples from.”

Those samples make for a slightly different sound for Apathy, and Wanna Snuggle is a slightly different album from his 2006 effort, Eastern Philosophy. “Pretty much everything (on Wanna Snuggle) is some type of a concept, or some type of a story. I think it’s a lot deeper and more honest, too. I have a lot of songs that reflect what’s going on in my real life.”

What goes on in Apathy’s life has been of keen interest to many in the state’s hip-hop scene as just a handful years ago Ap was Connecticut’s only rap artist that was signed to a major label. Although his time at Atlantic Records wasn’t great, and he eventually left because “they wanted to turn me into essentially what Asher Roth is now,” he still derives a sense of pride just from getting the opportunity to be there. “It’s amazing that I got signed to a major label at some point in my life,” he says, “that’s a cool thing.”

All throughout his time at Atlantic, and his entire career, Apathy has repped Connecticut, and not subtly. “I got Connecticut tattooed on my hand. I got 860 on my right wrist and 203 on my left wrist. I really don’t think there are too many other rappers who rep CT as hard as I do.” When he reps it, however, he oftentimes receives strange looks from the people who’ve never visited the state. “When I tell people I’m from Connecticut it’s just bugged out to them. They have no frame of reference really.”

Apathy has found the few folks that do have a frame of reference have a distorted one. “They always assume it’s a Podunk, backwoods, sticks, or a rich type area.” The latter seems to dominate people’s opinions, but as Ap notes, “they don’t understand it’s right in the middle of New York, Philly, Providence and Boston. It’s dead in the center, so it’s not gonna be this illustrious place in the middle of everything else.”

At one point in time Apathy had the title The King of Connecticut. It was one he gave to himself, but he says he never meant for people to take it seriously. “That was more of a joke,” he says, surprised at the number of people who felt he was being overly braggadocios, “a lot of people don’t understand I’m very tongue in cheek. I’m a sarcastic asshole and I joke around here and there. When I started saying King of Connecticut it wasn’t really serious.”

While he may not be concerned with any crown or throne, Apathy’s lifelong tenure in the state, and the fact that he is one of the only artists from Connecticut to make noise on a national level, does warrant him a certain status. It’s a status he wouldn’t mind seeing some of his fellow in-state emcees ascend to. “If some other kid from Connecticut comes along and is successful, good,” he states, “it’s about time.” Before that can happen, however, Apathy notes “a lot of people, for them to reach that level, business-wise, have to get their shit together.”

For Ap, “getting his shit together” meant coming to the realization that it made no sense to try to launch his career by attempting to be a star in his home state. “People have the wrong mentality when it comes to trying to establish themselves as a Connecticut artist,” he explains, “they all think they gotta conquer the state first. I didn’t do it that way. I went after the rest of the world first, then Connecticut started to take notice.” Dishing out a little more advice for the in-state artists, he continued, “don’t just be like I’m a Connecticut emcee and that’s all it is. Rep it as you go along, but don’t try to make it a handicap for yourself.”

Apathy has actually gone one step further when it comes to not handicapping himself, by taking record labels out of the equation altogether for his latest release. “Labels fuck you over,” he says acerbically, “labels actually fuck you up interacting and dealing with your fans. Labels take money out of your pocket.”

With Wanna Snuggle in stores, and none of the money from it going into a label owner’s pocket, up next for Ap are a number of group projects, including albums with his Demigodz crew, Army of the Pharaohs, and the Get Busy Committee, which features Ap, Ryu and Scoop Deville. He’s also hard at work on his next solo project, Honkey Kong, and is even putting something together with the legendary DJ Premier.

Apathy may have no interest in the title of king, but he’s sure earning the distinction of being the busiest man in the scene.

Story originally ran in the FairfieldWeekly.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:18 AM  
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