There are few artists that can boast the same work rate as Lord Apex. “I came up in a mixtape era when all my favourite artists were dropping new projects, like once a month,” explains Apex, who has dropped yearly projects at a minimum. “We’ve been pushing this shit and now we’re at a point where it’s eventually being seen.”
The rapper from West London is known for his sharp and layered raps over jazz-infused beats, with multi-volume mixtape series ‘Smoke Sessions’ enrapturing an audience that holds firm with rap fans globally. Next comes the highly-anticipated studio album ‘The Good Fight’, a release that starts the turning of a new page. The album compelled Apex to change his production methods: “I’m not very big on re-recording anything. Whereas with this project, it was the first time I pushed myself to really assess and change things.” But he still approaches each song in the same fashion: “When I start the song, I don’t know where it’s going…but I’m really connected to certain emotions sometimes which helps me write. Just like if you do a painting on a blank canvas.”
The new project features a number of established guest producers: ”I got to work with a few producers that I’ve built up a relationship with over the years, and on top of that, more highly-respected producers.” At the top of this list is one of his biggest inspirations: the hip-hop legend Madlib. The album also features bars from Freddie Gibbs, with Lord Apex recruiting only those at the top of their game for this project. Put simply: the levels are being reached.
The album includes a breadth of production that taps into all moods, Apex effortlessly switching flows and characteristics throughout. The Londoner wanted to expand his musical trajectory further. “I see myself progressing and getting more into the artistry of the music on the instrumentation, so you’ve got music for all ages,” he says. His influences include MF Doom, who brought different personalities into his music, something Apex wants to explore himself. “Music is unlimited. A lot of my favourite artists have got alter-egos, and I feel like they’ve done that so they can express themselves in the same way.”
Growth is a continuous motion for Lord Apex. “Your style should never stay the same unless you’re truly comfortable. If I owned one sort of sound, I wouldn’t even want to be on it again,” he avows. The grind from Lord Apex has paid off, now it’s time to expand.
‘The Good Fight’ is out now.
Words: Joe Hale
Photography: Zeyaad Ahmed