This is an entry in an ongoing series for 303 Magazine, which will provide a range of local album reviews. It is our intention to highlight the talents of local musicians, whether veterans to the industry or newcomers. Like the bands, the album can be fresh or something we just haven’t had the power to take off repeat in the past few months. Check out previous entries in the series here.
The biggest mistake one could make as a fan of TheyCallHimAP is to think he is done in any foreseeable future. The rapper released Wins just this last March, a 19-track triumph that wheeled a short-winded celebration before the announcement and promotion of Big Homie started. Big Homie, released on September 20, 2019, is another full-length album that approaches TheyCallHimAP’s talents at a different but just as encouraging angle, highlighting him as a force within our community to be celebrated and uplifted to the spotlight he deserves.
TheyCallHimAP — real name Anthony Porch — is known for his consistent releases and provides the Denver music scene with possibly more material than anyone else right now. “I feel like I don’t give my fans enough,” says AP. “I have a lot of good content and I am actually sitting on hundreds of songs. It was necessary to start putting out more music.” This attitude of contributing to his fans and peers aligns with the theme of this new project, in which AP commits to serving as a big homie, leading the standard and raising the bar. “If I’m going to be someone to look up to, I’m going to give you the right things to be looking up to,” he explains. “If a big homie leads you in the wrong direction, he’s not your big homie, he’s just your homie.”
The album kicks off with “Young and Dangerous,” a track that sets the tone of the more personal theme of Big Homie. In fact, it opens with AP talking to a young girl, his firstborn daughter. “I wanted to get a lot more personal with my music all around. I don’t necessarily always give people a look into what goes on in my day to day life, I just give them the music.”
What is seen through this more transparent unveiling into AP’s life and creation process is that the process ultimately remains the same, with some songs resulting in affection from the rapper due to their natural origin. “My favorite track on the album is “Still Pt. 2,’” AP divulges. “I like the beat the most, it’s my favorite beat on the album. I like songs where I am the most comfortable, and it came out easy.”
“Domino” is one of the album standouts, not only because it served as the first single as well as the first video, but also because the track sparks out of the listing as an upbeat, rowdy anthem for listeners to scream along to. It comes as no surprise that “Domino” was written along with Wins, as it bears a resemblance to the Wins vibe but ultimately the song encompasses the newer feel that belongs to Big Homie.
Songs like “Lightyears” also adhere to this notion, reflecting a flash of freshness but remain loyal to AP’s signature rapid bars of tightly knitted lyrical delivery. “That just kind of comes,” says AP of writing songs that require such a quick, natural ability. “In the moment, I don’t plan a song or verse, I just start writing. Then I know by the end of the song what it is about.”
Big Homie features longtime collaborators of TheyCallHimAP, such as Trev Rich on “Summertime” and Keenan Trevon on “Positions” and “Sunday Night.” Although, he expresses that it can be difficult for him to know when to call on features. “I’m a little bit of a control freak. Most of the time, I want to write the hook anyway and then the artist will sing it,” says AP. “Usually I will write them and record them and if they sound good I’ll leave it.” Songs like “Me & My” showcase this, featuring the musician’s singing capabilities, melodically dancing along with his own rhymes. “God Bless,” chosen as a salutation to the album, closes out the project elegantly, with AP rapping a flow that bids farewell to the satisfied listener.
This second album of the year falls only second in order of release, and if nothing else, provides an optimistic stepping stone for what is still to come from TheyCallHimAP. Dedicated, the name of the next album to come from AP in 2020, will be accompanied by a documentary. Tight lyrical rants with catchy beats and a sound delivery that rivals any musician on a national stage, AP is here for the long run and we should all get used to celebrating him as such.