Monday, October 24, 2016

Ugly Heroes craft another classic masterpiece with 'Everything in Between'

Everything in Between by Ugly Heroes
The Ugly Heroes trio of Mello Music Group (Red Pill, Apollo Brown and Verbal Kent) have been the next big thing in hip-hop for the past three years, ever since they released their amazing, self-titled debut LP in 2013. They're easily considered one of Mello's best groups to date and outside of the label, they are making phenomenal strides, combining Apollo Brown's beautiful soul with RP and VK's smart, philosophical, mature, wise and professionally advanced lyrics. Each man has a story. Red Pill from Detroit, the burgeoning enlightened Millennial backpacker is growing healthily within the creative ecology of MMG, Apollo Brown (also from Detroit) is a very accomplished producer with a uniquely identifiable style and a long list of credits, and Verbal Kent of Rogers Park, Chicago also has a lengthy discography and highly trained rap-chops. To the joy of everyone, they release today (June 24) their second album, Everything in Between, still on Mello Music and still on a heroically message-hearty binge. It makes for two back-to-back stellar engagements starting with the Ugly Heroes LP, and who knows? Maybe they'll someday make it a trifecta.

Everything in Between gives us a lot of what we all need more of, beautiful universal truth. Let's start at the top. In "Today Right Now," the refreshing lyrical duo of Red and Kent bring forth eye-opening revelations with the ultimate message being to not take life for granted, and they proceed with more fresh wisdom ("Daisies"), the advocation of good strong character ("Peace of Mind") and their own experiences with diversity, tolerance and community ("Place Called Home"). The most time-marked, most newsworthy song of the first half, "This World" lets Kent and Red Pill set things straight and rap sense about maladies across the globe - racism, Trump, brutal police, etcetera, and everything is presented in a very calm, serene and unobjectionable way, especially thanks to Apollo Brown. His gorgeous soul and easygoing jazz productions are to die for, commonly agreeable listening for all.

Down the line, the subject of "Can't Win For Losin'" is falling on hard times, and then Red Pill, who is the biggest star of "Roles," raps about being reluctant of bringing innocent children into a hateful world there. "Heart Attack" makes sure dreams, goals and high aspirations do not drop dead, and "Unforgiven" lays out two great rap stories. Red Pill confronts a detached resentful grandfather and Verbal Kent says accurately that a criminal set free by the justice system will forever be in mental prison. Lastly, they show their fangs in "Fair Weather" to help balance out any softness heard in the lead up sections. This timeless triumvirate are nothing short of magnificent in this perfect Everything in Between album. These Ugly Heroes could literally bring anyone onto their cause because one: they speak the truth and very eloquently at that, and two: they are backed by beat-prodigy Apollo Brown and his soothing jazz, blues and rock in a dynamic mixture. Furthermore, he reaffirms and strengthens his own style. Three heads are better than one here. Each man makes the other two tremendous people by giving them support and approval, and overall, they simply have an exceedingly splendid project on their hands and now it's in their fan's hands.

5 out of 5 stars 

(Review by Alex originally appeared on on June 24, 2016.)

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