Apathy conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

Apathy: More Label Woes

March 2006

MVRemix: I like that new "Chemical" joint on the album a lot because you are talking about something people don't usually touch on, especially with things like genetically modified food. Rapper Apathy Interview

Apathy: Yeah, that's a huge thing. Its funny to watch old movies and look back at people, because people are evolving and changing because of the shit we are eating. Body types are changing. The best example that everyone will be able to relate to is - look at girls who are like 14 or 15 and everybody will be like, "Girls did not look like that when I was younger." Not on some fucked up or perverted shit, but the food we eat is changing our bodies. Its making girls have fatter asses. It only makes sense when they are pumping hormones into meat and genetically altering food products. Its going to fuck with you when you do that.

MVRemix: Now take us back to the beginning when you were going to sign with Atlantic. What did you see in them as a company that attracted you to them?

Apathy: The thing is, that was three years ago. I was a young dude at the time and I really didn't sit and think about it. Interscope was trying to get at us - there was a couple different labels trying to get at us to be exact. But I was just really gassed that labels wanted us at all. That really blew my mind. I still can't believe it and I'm still souped even if its been all this time. It's a big deal to me and its something that I always wanted. But when Interscope wanted to sign us and flew me and Celph out to L.A. I reached out to one of my friends Theo Settlemire. He is an entertainment lawyer but I had no clue what he was doing at the time. I hadn't talked to him in awhile, so when I spoke to him he told me he was representing Eminem. I was like, 'Holy shit, are you serious?' And he was like, "Matter of fact, I'm dealing with Interscope right now anyway because we trying to get this new artists 50 Cent signed." And I was like, 'Oh, I know 50 Cent from "Rowdy, Rowdy".' So I started to have Theo rep me and he gave me a lot of good advice along the way. At the end of the day, Interscope wouldn't have been an ideal situation. But Mike Karen from Atlantic Records kept in contact with me the whole time. When we met up with him he was real cool and he ended up giving us a real good offer and deal. So that's why I signed with Atlantic.

MVRemix: Why the long wait for the album? Can you run down the process and everything you have had to go through?

Apathy: That is the hardest question to really answer because I really don't fucking know. When people started asking me that question I kept asking myself, 'How am I going to answer this?' But eventually I was like, 'I'm just gonna be honest.' So I have no idea and I have no idea what's going on. I'm not shelved and they are adamant about saying that. It is just a matter of us getting on the same page artistically. It hasn't happened yet. It's so weird how much time has passed and how we can't get on the same page. That gets me real frustrated and I'll go a long time without talking or dealing with them. Then eventually we will start to work again together. But it's mind blowing how monotonous and frustrating this situation is. And I'm not mad at them. It's not like they are fucked up people. It's just, I wish me and my A&R could come to some terms and work something out so we can have something pop off. But all my misconceptions about labels before are gone now. When you are younger you think you get signed and they whisk you away, put you in a studio with the biggest producers and you make an album. I really thought that was how shit jumped off. But that's not the way it is - especially nowadays with technology. They will have you two-track shit to death until you find the proper hit. So everything I thought about majors before was just dead wrong. And I guarantee all the people out there on the outside looking in who think they know a little something about the industry are wrong. It's not what you think.

I thought I knew a lot from doing little industry shit but everything is crazy, complex and exhausting. Being signed is cool, it's an amazing thing and I'm happy for the opportunity, but all that glitters is not gold. There are other things too. I was just talking to Little Brother because we are doing some tour dates with them - they are the coolest, most humble cats - and I was telling them, 'I'm so envious of you guys because you got signed to Atlantic and were allowed to do the album you wanted to do.' But with me, I keep submitting songs to my A&R and he's like, "Uhh, yeah, its cool, keep recording." But its like, what the fuck? What is going on? All I'm doing is two tracking songs to death and there is nothing tangible going on.

When I did Eastern Philosophy, I did a song at a time and I was like, 'Ok, this song is going to be put at the end of the album and this one is going to be in the beginning.' But with this major label album, I just keep recording song after song after song. So what am I really doing? And I had just recently talked to my A&R and I was frustrated as fuck with him. So I actually made a song dissing him called "Fuck You." I don't bite my tongue with him at all. I call him up and bark on him. We beef and all that shit. So I did that song where I called all that shit out and he fucking loved it. He was like, "Yo, this is great, we wanna press it up." But once again, he says these things but it never follows through. He gets all souped talking about pressing it up, but it never happens. I recorded a song and he told me it was the biggest hit. He hit me up and these are hit exact words, "Congratulations man, you just opened up your budget for yourself. Craig Calmen heard this and he loves it. This is a go man - this is the single right here." And I'm like, 'Ok, hot.' Then eight months later I'm like, 'What the fuck happened? I thought we were ready?' So I talked to him about that recently and he was like, "Well, you know, that song is a good idea but it needs work." And I was like, 'Alright, that's fine. But why didn't you tell me that shit? Just tell me something.' So he recently told me, "Yo Ap, your not shelved at all and I don't want you thinking that. I want you to stay here and grind it out with us. That is what I want. I want you to be on board. But I don't want to be the big bad label and hold back your career. So you tell me - if you want to go then I'll let you go. Or you can stay here, grind it out with me and we'll do this."

But to be honest, I don't see that happening. I don't see anything getting done. It's a weird thing. I don't want to vilify them and dis them, because it's not even like that. But it's confusion and its amazing how ambiguous it is. It's all over the place.

MVRemix: I know you are on tour right now with Mike Shinoda, so how is that going?

Apathy: The tour has been crazy man. Mike Shinoda showed us so much fucking love. It has been amazing! We are real spoiled to be honest. I'm used to doing shitty tours and driving our own cars. But right now I'm shitting in a lavish bunk, on a crazy tour bus. Each bunk has a little DVD player that comes down. The bus has a living room in the front and back. It's just crazy. This tour has been fucking amazing. I'm in love with it, so its going to be hard going back on the normal grind - to be honest with you. But its been fun man. Mike's whole fan base has embraced us so much. They are showing us a lot of love and its funny to see how they react to us. It takes them a second to get used to us, but they do show us a lot of love.

MVRemix: Is it tough going out there with a crowd that most likely is Linkin Park fans and having to win them over or prove yourself because they are unfamiliar with your material?

Apathy: To be honest with you, it's tough to do and a lot of people may have a pride issue with it, but I think that's corny. I think its amazing and it keeps me sharp. I get more of a rush trying to win over fans than going out and doing the same thing for the same reaction every time. It's almost iller to get new attention and be a new artist. It makes me hungrier and want to prove something. It's better than just going out there and being like, 'Yeah, I'm Ap, you all know my songs.' It makes me be like, 'This is the reason you should like me.' That makes me feel how I did when I was 14 or 15 when I had to go out and prove myself as an emcee.

MVRemix: What's going on with the Demigodz? You guys gonna release a new album?

Apathy: Yeah we are working on material right now. The crew went through so many changes and now we are more of a defined group. We are so much more prolific now. We have a real good dynamic now, as far as dealing with each other. We get shit done fast. We been bangin' songs out and we have about six done. That is pretty good considering how busy we are doing other things. Styles of Beyond is working on their album, plus the Fort Minor tour. I'm working on Eastern Philosophy and the tour. Celph is working on the Boss Hogg Barbarians album with J-Zone. Motive is working on his album, 7L & Eso on their project. So it's incredible that we are working at the pace we are, considering everything going down.

MVRemix: Whatever happened to Rise? Is he still apart of the Demigodz?

Apathy: Rise is always going to be our homie. The thing with Rise is - I talk to everybody really naturally. The reason why the group is a definitive thing is because I talk to Eso, Motive and Celph all the time. We all stay in contact, hang out and get shit done. I'm not saying anything bad about Rise at all, because he's fam and is still affiliated with us. But Rise's main thing was - he was working on his projects and it really didn't involve us too much. He was changing up what his material sounded like from the Demigodz. He was doing a lot of different things, so it naturally went the way that the Demigodz formed with who it is. Not taking anything away from him, but he started doing more conscious material and changed up from the punch line type thing. It naturally progressed to where we didn't talk as much. Even when we would talk and say, 'We gotta get something done,' it just never came to fruition. So maybe that's the way things are supposed to be.

Related content:
  • Apathy 2000 Interview by Hugo Lunny
  • Apathy 2002 Interview by Hugo Lunny
  • Apathy 2006 Interview by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
  • Apathy 2006 Interview by DJ Hyphen & J. Moore

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