Apollo Brown & Hassaan Mackey – “Something”

Whenever I need to clear my head I go for long drives. And here in South Florida, there’s always a good strip to roll through and great weather to take in. After seeing some family off at Miami International today, I decided to head over to South Beach. The weather was fantastic, my windows were down and my music was up. This particular listen came on the speakers as I was driving down the MacArthur Causeway back into downtown Miami, with the skyline of the city in my sights, the windows of skyscrapers shimmering in the morning light. And it was one hell of a moment.

Hypnotic is the very definition of this track, from the NY emcee Hassaan Mackey and the Michigan producer Apollo Brown. Honestly I cannot believe I slept on their collaborative album, 2011’s Daily Bread, for so long. Apollo’s sounds are unparalleled; many producers strive to make beats which capture that boom bap essence of ’90s East coast rap, but Apollo is one of the very few dudes who not only nails that big, booming sound, but makes it sound fresh, lush, and so damn fulfilling. When those drums come in, especially when you’re in the car with some good speakers, it pretty much warms your soul. He really knows his way around a beat machine, and has an expert choice of soul samples here.

Not to be outdone, Hassaan rhymes with feeling and deep ruminations, and right here the duo deliver a fantastic and doleful examination of former women in their lives, which gets me thinking about past episodes. It’s a striking listen, and I’ll need to give Daily Bread some more love.