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Detroit, Michigan has a respected and accomplished lineage in hip-hop, specifically among its producers. With artists like Black Milk, J-Dilla, DJ House Shoes and Wajeed laying the foundation, the bar has been set pretty high. Enter Apollo Brown.

The twenty-something track master has been filling iPods providing his dusty, drum heavy compositions for instrumental albums like “Clouds” and collaborative work with MC vets like O.C. and Ghostface Killahas well as new artists like Guilty Simpson and Ugly Heroes. The work with MCS has been good for establishing his brand, but Apollo thinks the people behind the boards are in a new era.

“I think in the last couple of years it’s that time for the producer,” he says. “The DJ had his forefront. The MC had his forefront and I think it’s the producer’s time. The demand for good beats is out there. I travel the world playing beats! It’s a crazy phenomenon. I can be in Germany, France or Russia and play beats for an hour and people always want more. People just want to vibe out.”

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On one of the first warm evenings of New York’s fickle Spring, Apollo has taken the stage for the second time in as many nights for a special segment of Beat Society, a highly anticipated producer showcase that brings out the most respected in the field. Just hours before this Apollo was in Philadelphia rocking out with Jahlil Beats, Chad Wes and Antman Wonder and on this night he will take turns playing beats with !llmind, Lee Stone and DJ Skizz. The appearance is well-timed to help promote his latest release, an instrumental album called “.38.”

“It’s kind of an instrumental soundtrack. I wanted to give the people something they can create their own story to,” he explains. “The .38 caliber weapon in its prime was one of the most reliable calibers you could get. It was that gun in your grandma’s purse. When all else fails, when the automatics jam, you can depend on that reliable .38. It will always work for you. That’s why I named it that.”

Watch our interview with Apollo Brown where he goes more into depth about his new album,  past projects and his production techniques.


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PRODUCER WEEK: Apollo Brown Aims His .38 Special [EXCLUSIVE]  was originally published on