Music

Apollo Brown and Skyzoo - "A Couple Dollars (feat. Joell Ortiz)"

Skyzoo and Ortiz reflect on life with sincerity and vulnerability on top of Brown's old-school melody, and it makes for a warm, comforting track.

Andrew Paschal: It's easy to get completely lost in the interplay between Skyzoo and Joell Ortiz's verses, and the elegant and alluring string sample weaved throughout the track. Hip-hop has never been an easy genre for me because I'm not really a "lyrics person", in the sense that my brain often seems to encode lyrics only as sound rather than words the first couple times through. As frustrating as this is, "A Couple Dollars" is a wonderful listen even when treated only in this capacity. Each element here is impeccably chosen and seems to have an almost loving relationship with the larger production. The track oozes charisma and magnetism. There's much to be gained from interrogating Skyzoo and Ortiz's lyrics, but the fact that you can also just sit back and let the whole thing wash over you to excellent effect makes this track successful indeed. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Heartfelt, pure hip-hop with good beats and nimble rappers. Skyzoo and Ortiz reflect on life with sincerity and vulnerability on top of Brown's old-school melody, and it makes for a warm, comforting track. The lyrics are all real, but they're also hopeful, and it's soothing just to listen to Skyzoo and Ortiz tell their stories. [7/10]

Paul Carr: The music sounds like the particularly poignant bit of an '80s cop show. His flow is as street as rap can get without being subterranean. There’s a desperation in his rhymes. A basic need to stay alive which is refreshing in these days of rappers flashing their wealth and contacts. [8/10]

Scott Zuppardo: It's nice to hear a soulfully blended production behind some actual barred rhymes in 2016. That said at almost five minutes it's a bit self-indulgent but enjoyable nonetheless, a simple minimalist beat by Detroit's Apollo Brown is the highlight. [6/10]

SCORE: 7.25

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