Apollo G raps about things that are important to his life. Those things are less material and more spiritual or emotional - subjects like love, happiness and comfort - concepts that for him and those around him have, at points in their lives, seemed unimaginable. Yet, when attained, manifest through his celebratory music.
In his track ‘Europa’, the artist explores a psychological journey through the concept of Europe for those outside of it, particularly drawing experience from his Cape Verdean heritage,. In this track, Europe can initially seem like a dream, a place where everything is good and there’s no need to worry. From a distance, it’s paradise.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, though. During the song, the narrative switches to talk about a more visceral firsthand experience of Europe - the life of Apollo G. Born in Queluz in Portugal, the artist has lived in England for many years, and in his own European experiences has seen friends being deported and dealt with the same hardships that those from his home would face - same shit, different toilet.
In essence, it boils down to perspective. This is something the rapper often grapples with in his lyrics. For some, happiness is the shot at a ‘better life’, but that better life could be defined by a new place, a new car, or new clothes. To Apollo G, these issues are best when understood in accordance with ourselves. Realising our own potential and understanding our own thoughts is the true way to emancipation.
Part of the process for the Portuguese rapper is his writing. Naturally, another part was choosing to rap in the first place. Vaguely being categorised as ‘Afro Trap’, the rapper builds his sound from a mixture of African beats and those you’d associate with that typical of Atlanta's thriving hip-hop scene. Testament to the power of digital culture, music is now less region-locked, freely able to ebb and flow between countries without ever setting foot on a plane.
Portuguese and English lyrics feature in his work, but Creole is still the main language. It is, after all, the one that was spoken in the home where he grew up as a second-generation immigrant. Fluctuating between upbeat music and introspective wordplay, Apollo G embraces the highs and lows that we will inevitably all face at one point or another. The important thing to him, a message that always comes through in his music, is that we face and embrace these moments. In every struggle is an opportunity and every success the chance to remain humble.
Listen here on Spotify.
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