APEX: Staying True to Life

Give us an intro…who’s Apex? What’s True2Life? Who is “Apex”…Let’s see, Apex–is a product of the Hip Hop Culture. A student of the elements, (Break-dancing, DJing, Tagging, Emceeing, and Culture Knowledge) Apex strives to embody his music with mainstream appeal and the foundations of conscious Hip Hop.

True2Life is the Hip Hop group my partner Swayz and I started after we finished True2Life’s debut project, “Thinking Out Loud”. “True2Life” is also an expression we use that means “representing things, actions, and conditions as they actually are.”  Consciousness, awareness, and realism are also emphasized when one is “True2Life.” It basically means being true to yourself, your peers, and your environment. 

You’re coming out of Stockton, have you always lived there? No, but I consider it home. I have been residing here since hot ’97…

Any other albums? Any new cuts on the way? As a solo artist, I have not put out anything besides an ongoing mix-tape series, entitled “Sounds of the City” (Part 3 due this Summer 2010). With Swayz, True2Life has one complete album entitled “Thinking Out Loud” and a new project in the works.  I also have another project with a Stockton producer named Adamint. It’s called “Boom Box All-Starrs” (spelled with 2 r’s). That project should be released by the end of this year.

Apex & Swayz (Tru2Life) @ the 'Keep Ya Head Up' event

In addition to emceeing, you also organize the Local Express Tour, tell us about that, how long you been doing that? Yes, The Local Express Tour is an organization that helps to promote upcoming, local artists.  The idea for this was actually sparked by my partner Swayz. After we finished our debut album, we were thinking of different ways of getting our music out. He felt that collaborating with other artists was a good way to cross promote and market ourselves. So I took this idea and decided to organize a coalition of artists, DJs, producers, and promoters to help push for the advancement of the local music scene.  The Local Express Tour has been in active in the 209 since April of 2009. (So we are just about a year old). We also had the chance to work with a Stockton record label/entertainment group called Movement Entertainment that summer. When we worked together, we were called “Movement Express.”

The Local Express Tour is a traveling, promotional showcase of unsigned and local recording artists. Our organization was created to highlight the next generation of talent in today’s most popular genres of music. For more info please visit: myspace.com/thelocalexpresstour (We are looking for new artists to showcase for the summer!)

What artists have you worked with so far? We have worked with many artists in the area. In particular, we have worked with Lunnie, The Missez, Radio, RP-9 & The CBS Boys, Tecaree, Sean Doe, Get Money Ent., Swag Nine (Filthy Tone & Drow-Z), Ncredable, Pkiz, Duce, Juggernaut Records (Big Shouts to the Fam!) Squad X, and more!  We have also had the pleasure of working with E-40s sister, “Suga-T”, “JASE” the lead singer of Soul for Real, San Quinn, and Turf Talk.

What’s up with the Stockton Hip-Hop scene? Is it unique? How? The Stockton Hip Hop Scene is definitely unique. There are many different styles of Hip Hop to choose from here. We have a creative blend of categories that range from conscious, to gangsta, to underground, to commercial, to lyrical.  Moreover, many Hip Hop artists are throwing their own shows so you can actually get a real “feel” of how they get down when you go their functions. It’s beautiful….

You also do work in the community and with the youth, tell us more about that? Most definitely. Apex Love the Kids!!!  (The “younginz” are our future…). We have a non-profit organization called Empowering Young Voices (EYV) that teaches life skills and leadership to young people through a curriculum that encourages creative education and artistic expression. We hold FREE math and science tutoring on the 1st and 3rd Saturday mornings (9am-12pm) at a building called the Rock Senior and Youth Center (630 E Weber Avenue Stockton, CA) more info on EYV available at http://myspace.com/eyv2008

How does your community work influence your hip-hop? How does hip-hop influence your community work? I feel both complement each other explicitly. My community work allows me to stay involved and informed about the Stockton area and San Joaquin County. This keeps me abreast on what exactly the people are experiencing on a daily basis.  By attending city hall meetings, volunteering in community organizations, and simply supporting grassroots efforts–my music can reflect conditions as they actually are. This will make my music relevant to the people, very “True2Life” if you will…I feel this is community involvement is very necessary for engaging in my category of Hip Hop.

What does next year look like for you and True2Life? Next year is definitely looking good. More music on the way!

What about in 10 years? Even better! Even more music on the way!!!

Any last thoughts, shout-outs, rants, raves, quips, quarrels, or an over-all philosophy on life? Let’s see…Big Shouts to the great people at RHHR for staying so consistent and producing a great Hip Hop publication filled with insightful “soulful” articles! Be on the lookout for The Boom Box All-Starrs Project & new work from True2Life! New Artists looking for shows and/or promotion check out The Local Express Tour MySpace! and finally, “You shouldn’t worry about failure, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” -Anonymous

Keep It Love, Keep It Live, Keep It Hip Hop. – Apex, T2L & Boom Box All-Starrs

Hit up Apex at: http://myspace.com/apexdamonsta & http://twitter.com/apexoftrue2life

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Categories: Central Valley Hip-Hop

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