“My brain is the key that sets me free”
“The only way out is in”
In these turbulent, torrid times, imagine finding, in a corner gathering dust, a book: A Field Guide on How to Escape. Such an imagined discovery became the starting point for ‘The Escapist Handbook’, a 15 track tribute to escapism in its many forms by UK-born, French resident MC Apocraphe.
With its journey through the inner to nebulous pathways outwards, this album touches on every sonic representation of hiphop as an artform. It ranges from the drill-like intro of Many Lives (Bury My Dead) produced by two times gold disc French producer I.N.C.H, through the dark steampunk twists of City Of Lost Children, to the melodious jazz of The Song Of Tartarus. Even within the Golden Era vibes of the titular The Escapist Handbook, the culture is simultaneously represented and deconstructed. Drawing heavily on mythology and classical literature as well as modern cultural touchstones, a journey is created, both in the mind of the listener, and the path of the album itself.
International superproducer Nat Powers (Snoop Dogg, Run DMC, Spice 1, Professor Green, Lomepal, etc) holds down a quarter of the album, alongside stalwarts such as I.N.C.H, Dezordre (CMF records), Louis Angeles (Naiad) and Arthur Guyard (Kilotone) with new talent such as Pablo and Thiomas Nollet adding to the freshness. Features include but are not limited to Jahnell (a.k.a Johny Pitts, broadcaster and multi-award winning author of Afropean: Notes from Black Europe), UK legends Scor-zay-zee and Sonnyjim (Conway The Machine/Verbal Kent/Iron Wigs and many more), young up-and-coming French-Cameroonian Afro-Trap artiste Dirtsa, and Spanish lyricist Dax Santos.
The album also includes an unreleased bonus track originally from 2014, remixed and remastered, the sole track ever made featuring the entire 10 members of the Parisian L’Affaire crew, including multi-platinum artist Lomepal. The album stands as a product of the links and love of the artform shared across all international borders.
Having formed Main Rock Records in 2002 in the UK and released 12 projects on vinyl and CD for many highly respected underground artists as well as 2 EPs of his own, Apocraphe moved to Paris in 2011. There he became manager for Naiad, a Parisian Jazz Hiphop band who were part of the legendary L’Affaire Collective. He also recorded and mixed various projects, including the classic EP ‘Paris South Playa’ for Mothas La Masquerade. Moving to Toulouse in 2017, he took on presentation duties for the K7 live band open mic, establishing himself as a key presence in the Toulousain hiphop scene whilst acting as advisor and mentor to various artists. With this return as main feature artist, decades of development and growth are brought to the fore – grown man business.