You really can’t accuse Apollo Brown of lacking a certain kind of working morale. Being the musical mastermind behind the latest records of O.C. , Guilty Simpson or Ghostface Killah, the rapper/producer/business-student with the highest possible street-cred has managed to place at least three highlights of indie-rap under your Ortofon Concorde in the last two years. »Thirty Eight«, Apollo Brown’s first instrumental record since »Clouds« of 2011 proves that the classical universal formula of hip hop (»sample + bass + drumbreak = beat«), which Nelson George once classified as »rhythm kidnapping«, still works just fine. However, the former winner of Red Bull Big Tune Championships, the producer-battle of a certain beverage company, does not content himself with giving us exquisite impressions of his latest works. Instead, he wants to tell a story on »Thirty Eight«. And while blaxploitation-soundtracks might be rather exhausted sources of inspiration amongst crate-diggers, the motive of the worn-out villain remains to be Apollo Brown’s modus operandi. Oppressive blues-bap-licks like »Black Suits« or epic film-score-samples (No Swongoons!) like »Weight In Gold« manage to make the thoughts and feelings of all dime-novel-gangsters compatible to today’s home-hoodlums and rhythm-kidnappers. There, where other producers have to try real hard to come up with a leitmotif by combining snippets of films and rap-quotes, this one-hour boom-bap-prey distinguishes itself solely through its arrangements: Atmospheric, stringent, high-quality. »Thirty Eight« proves once more that the wheel doesn’t need to be re-invented over and over – it only takes a bit of oil and polish to make it run smoothly again.