Artist Interview: Apex
Tell us about yourself and your music
When I was young I wrote poetry. When I was 12 I started to emulate what I felt like was cool. After years of being a troubled youth, I was incarcerated at 17. Throughout my years of incarceration, I started to develop an awareness of how and why it was mostly ethnic and underprivileged people that shared my same fate. Growing up I was close to my father’s mother because she was the one who watched me when I would get suspended from school, which was quite often. She used to tell me stories of our heritage which was full of heroic deeds and acts that made me feel like she was telling me fairy tales. When I was in prison I learned those stories were not only true but a part of who I am. Those stories were about Solomon Northrup (the Oscar winning movie 12 Years A Slave). From that realization I developed my own analysis of where my people have been to where we are now. I studied philosophy from our greatest leaders and understood why God blessed me to be who I am. My music is riddled with the lessons I’ve learned through my experiences, triumphs and tribulations as well as my failures. I believe hip hop has gotten away from its roots and what it was intended to be. My music started out as a hobby after I came home from prison. After letting some people hear my music I started to realize I have talent, I noticed that my music motivated those individuals. I’ve never really pushed my music because I have 3 kids and other responsibilities. I feel like the music industry is starving for artists like myself. While I like a lot of music now I believe hip hop especially is saturated with demoralizing ideals that are targeted at my people. This is why my artistic name is Apex.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release is titled American Liberty. It is a song about the liberties that we as Americans are given through our constitutional rights. It is about the damage police culture has done to the people of all races. It is intended to unite people from different cultural backgrounds to understand what makes our country great is our ability to unite and solve differences.
What inspired you to write this release?
The killing of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, Police brutality. Gross negligence of duty by police officers across the country. I want to turn this negligence into awareness and hopefully inspire a solution.
Any plans to release a video?
Yes, I am currently working out the details.
Any plans to hit the road?
None currently. I performed this song for Valerie Castile and the Philando Castile Foundation in July at Philando Castile’s memorial. I also performed it at the National Civil Rights Conference in Mississippi.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I bring momentum to topics most hip hop and rap artists stay away from. I care about my people. Money is not my objective change is. Change that will help misguided youth before they are thrown in a system that institutionalizes instead of rehabilitating.
Tell us about your passions
My passion is to be inspirational and/or motivational for anyone that may need a boost to move on a project or overcome an issue that this life creates.
What else is happening next in your world?
Just getting my music out and promoting my music while I develop new ideas and material. Continue speaking out and getting with other freedom fighters and civil rights activists to help my people.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Marcus!