In a world sick with greed, lust, self-loathing and a plague of addictions, The Ritz is merely another symptom. With “The Night of Day,” Apoc and Rel fulfill the promise that was heard in their past collaborations on projects like Apoc’s 2005 release “Gods & Ghosts” and their contribution to the 2004 compilation “The Zooey Files.” For their first full-length album as The Ritz, they wanted to showcase their ability to explore a diverse array of styles while still creating a cohesive and affecting hip hop record. For inspiration they looked to the themes and aesthetics of the gritty noir films of the 1940s and 50s. On the production end, Rel creates a collection of beats that demonstrate his range as a producer. Using a palette that includes classic soul chops, staccato synths, and haunting strings, Rel’s tracks bounce from dark and evocative to soulful and melodic; fashioning more than a few bangers in the process. Now on his third full length project, and having hit the road to play shows around the country this past year, Apoc handles the majority of the rapping, jumping seamlessly from one style to the next as the album evolves. Using the language of noir and relying on the genre’s motifs of scorned lovers, disenchanted heros, mysterious pasts and a corrupt and violent world, he spits cinematic tales describing the underbelly of modern American society. Utilizing his vast catalog of styles, Apoc’s nihilistic stories are told with fervor, from the sing songy raps of “Heartless” or “Waiting” to the rapid fire delivery of the title track. He even gives some impressive nods to his native Chicago exhibiting his aptitude for spitting the city’s signature double-time sound on “The Getaway” and “Blown.” To compliment the striking work put in by Apoc and Rel, the album is sprinkled with snippets from some of the film noir movies that influenced them during the creation of the album. They also get some significant contributions from fellow Chicagoans Racecar of Modill, and Rhymesayers recording artist Psalm One, as well as cuts performed by battle veteran DJ Onceamonth. All of this adds up to make “The Night of Day” a defining effort in the emergence of two talented and innovative artists.
Since the arrival of his first album, “Salesmanshipwrecked”, in 2003, Apoc has established himself as a stalwart of both the Chicago and San Diego hip hop scenes. Slightly nomadic, he tries to spend every minute that he’s not in the studio out on the road. In the process, he’s been able to share the stage with hip hop luminaries such as Slick Rick, Pharoahe Monch, and Mix Master Mike as well as indie hip hop heavyweights like Eyedea & Abilities, Lyrics Born and Living Legends. His tours have brought him to both ends of the country and back again with a fan base that expands with every show, which isn’t surprising considering the energy he brings to his performances. Apoc’s live shows have become renowned for the dizzying array of rhyme techniques, humorous stage antics and an unparalleled intensity that combine for one of the most dynamic performances in hip hop today. Recently his live act has been bolstered by the use of a vocal effects module, and occasionally the unique and eery tones of the early electronic instrument the theremin hooked up through a dj mixer.
Producer, and sometimes rapper, Rel has spent the last few years honing his skills behind the boards, producing tracks for local Chicago acts such as Elfamail and Moodswangz of Giraffe Nuts, and engineering recording sessions at Lion’s Den Studios for hip hop icons like Raekwon, Killah Priest and Pace Won. The son of internationally renowned karate master Miyuki Miura, Rel brings the same passion and intensity to his music that his father brought to fighting, and now brings to instruction. His distinct sound has already begun to turn heads in local beat battles and showcases.
released July 22, 2008
raps - apoc
beats - rel
cuts - big once
art - earmint
Originally from Chicago, Apoc’s music, art and journalism have brought him all over the world and afforded him the
opportunity to perform alongside many of his heroes and esteemed contemporaries, from Slick Rick to Busdriver to Lupe Fiasco. He’s had music featured on a number of TV shows including MTV’s Jersey Shore and been invited to play a variety of festivals including POP Montreal and NXNE....more
Pretty little party girl, drunker than them other dames/ livin’ in a barbie world, can’t recall her lovers’ names/ nothin’s changed, same sordid sort I’m always chasin’/ sad set up from the start of it: sunrise in a basement/ standin’ there, hand in her hair while she was yackin’/ I shoulda’ seen her scheme n ducked the punch that she was packin’/ actin’ nonchalant, got a lot of nerve, not to knock/ but conversation’s dropped a lot, if it’s not about her confidants/ got me locked, somehow silly stories didn’t bore me/ I’d sit awake n listen, kiss her neck while she’d ignore me/ corny, but I’m horny, fuck! stuck on what’s before me/ n this girl has got a grip of guiles guardin’ her old glory/ poor me, another one whose kisses are like kryptonite/ scissor eyes n fit to fight, pretty, but ain’t shit inside/ mystified, this dame has got done for once more/ some score; sore sport; the sort that she hunts for
N she’s HEARTLESS, can’t feel a thing if she tried/ starts with a smile n a gleam in her eyes/ I’m DEFENSELESS, must cast a spell with her lies/ ends with a smile kissin’ bitter ‘goodbyes’
Wooed me with the wine we’d sip, who the hell designed this chick?/ spider’s kiss, poison, showed me what an organ grinder is/ tore apart my heart, took a chunk of my liver with it/ pursed lips terse, cursed worse when I didn’t hit it/ even when I’m gettin’ in it, fidgets ‘fore I even finish/ mimics ‘til my mister limpens, listen miss, I’m at my limit/ got a slue of so-called friends, never seen her sober/ nothin’ new, it never ends, clever breed of cobra/ colder than a coors can, drunker than a brewers fan/ told her find a newer man, fuck her, I got tours planned/ next week, you’ll never guess it, back there with that contessa/ fact is I’m back confessin’, actin’ like she isn’t stressin’/ wack I gotta even mention, but, damn, she lookin’ so nice/ cold eyes, statuesque, barely even shows life/ hooked on this harlett, little hussy’s got a hold on me/ chained by this dame’s game, still haven’t broken free