Rob Apollo Delivers ‘Whore,’ A Sexual Innuendo Filled Album

    "There's a way to fuck a lot but respectfully and consensually."

    0
    PC: Noah Treviño

    With the release of his new album Whore, St. Louis-based artist Rob Apollo has aspirations to make it big time. This project was created to counteract taboos surrounding sex, and instead encourage people to embrace and celebrate their own sexuality, Whore ushers in a new era of horny rap. We recently had the chance to catch up with Rob and discuss various topics in relation to the new album. Check out the exclusive interview down below.

    So I guess we should begin with introductions. Let the people know where you’re from

    My name is Rob Apollo I’m from Detroit, MI and I’m very proud of that. I’ve been in St. Louis for two years for school studying design.

    Is there a specific field in design that you’re interested in?

    I came in to school looking for networking opportunities and exploring a new city, I didn’t do it to focus on studies to be honest. I wound up in design because I had a background in graphics, I like it because I do most of my own design/creative direction so my coursework has helped me with that.

    Would you say studying design has helped shape your music?

    Less so music as it’s shaped my art. As is evident by “Whore” I’m really into treating an album like an art piece, with accompanying visual components and all. If I didn’t have the design knowledge or so many friends in the art school I wouldn’t be nearly as visually inclined. Although it’s different means of expression I do think of my music and visual work both as artforms, I love when I can bring them together.

    That’s a nice segue into the album so let’s talk about that a bit. How did the concept come together?

    No cap, I’m really just kinda a thot [laughs.] Like I used to make hella out of pocket tweets about pussy (all of which I put on a shirt that’s part of the whore merch) and I’ve always been really sex positive and body positive with friends no matter their gender. I had been making a lot of serious music at the time and I just wanted a fun release. Once I had the idea I just ran with it. Along the way, I realized I wanted to make it an art piece and look at how a person can gain control of their own bodies by selling it to others. I’ve always been a supporter of sex workers and I think that can be so empowering. I started working on this shit like last March, I made all the songs between May and August, and then planned out and designed all the visuals since September.

    PC: Noah Treviño

    When you hear about sex and how’s it’s being presented in today’s music, especially hip-hop — you’re obviously taking a different approach from what’s out there. What do you hope to achieve with this unique approach?

    Man, I really just want men in general to stop trying to police these girls’ bodies man its crazy. Like in so many ways it’s ridiculous how men celebrate sex but in a way where the woman becomes object, I’m not trying to do that at all. I talked to a lot of my girl friends about my ideas and how I could execute them in a way where everyone is empowered, and not the man being empowered by possessing women, I’m off that. I’m not trying to paint myself as like some hyper-masculine womanizer. Thanks to my queer LGBTQ friends I’ve really been able to get in touch with my femininity and be comfortable in my own body. There’s a way to fuck a lot but respectfully and consensually.

    Oftentimes, when bodies of work try to highlight a social change, the underlying meaning gets diluted. Do you rely on artwork to kind of make that messaging clear?

    That’s the thing, even though it’s an aspect of the piece, I wouldn’t say I’m really trying to drive home the social change aspect of it. It was important for me to both lyrically and visually try and get that across, that I’m not just trying to collect women’s bodies, but at the end of the day, people can receive art however they want. If people just wanna listen to the music and have fun and party to it I’m not tripping on that.

    Is this the first project where you’ve conceptualized an idea and carried it out to this extent?

    Eh, more or less. I tried on my last album, HADES, but I missed the mark. I underestimated the amount of work and time it would take. This the first time I’ve done it successfully (so far anyway.) Before I started rolling this album out I had about 150 monthly listeners on Spotify and 2100 followers on Instagram. Now I’m at 920 and 2600, respectively. I’d like to think of it as a success so far

    Where did you draw inspiration from for this album?

    My life. That sounds corny but really I’m just trying to write my truth. Every song on this album is honest as hell. I write about my trials and tribulations, I write about my successes, shit I write about my dick, but I never write a lie. Stylistically though, I really love what JPEGMAFIA has been doing, definitely father, and in terms of song textures So Emotional by KEY! was a big influence. That KEY! album is insane, my poor girlfriend heard me singing that shit all summer.

    Throughout the creation of the album, what has been your proudest moment in the process? What was a moment in which you could see the results of your hard work?

    Man, I’m not good at being proud of myself I got too far to go. I’m hoping it hits for me at the release show if I lot of people come and I can see a real life manifestation. That’s when it hit last time. I guess in a sense I’m proud that I was able to take so much on and so far gotten everything done. It’s been a ton of work but I’ve stayed on task.

    Cover art

    What’s your recording process like?

    Big quantity shit. During summer when I’m not in school I try to make as much music as possible because I have the time. This summer alone I did about 75 songs, allows me to only pick best of the best for an album. All of which recorded in my bedroom in my pseudo-studio.

    Talk about your studio setup a bit

    To answer your question though, my setup is just some relatively simple shit, I’ve got a mic and mic stand with a pop filter, my laptop, some studio monitors and an audio interface. I soundtreated my bedroom with foam but it’s not perfect. I still have to mix some noises out and have natural reverb. I prefer to record at home though. Feels most natural and I don’t have eyes on me. I record alone a lot of with a close music friend or 2.

    Any advice you want to give young artists starting out?

    Aw man, this shit awful bro [laughs.] Like I’m more passionate about this than I can explain in words, but the workload and stress is crazy the further you get into the industry, and my foot barely in the door. So if you wanna just do music for fun, go crazy. But if you gonna have the audacity to try and say u wanna make a living off it or be a star, you better be putting in ungodly hours of hard work in the studio and studying the industry, or you’re lying to the world and yourself. Hate when people’s words don’t align with their actions. I got all respect for people who talk the talk and put in the work. But to be honest, that’s a small percentage.

    After a big release like this, do you take some time to reflect on the process or get started on the next piece right away?

    Man, I started on the next piece about a month ago haha. I can’t stop, like this art / music shit is my driving force, and my ADHD keeps me always working. I started working on Whore while finishing HADES, and I started working on HADES while I was finishing the album before. I don’t take time off, I end up reflecting on the last piece while working on the new one.

    What’s one word that sums up the whole process for you?

    Good question, that’s tough. Perhaps, quality. I refuse to put out work my heart isn’t in or that I think was poorly done. My art is a reflection of me, and I can’t half-ass that.

    Any last thoughts?

    Love to Swidlife for fucking with me. I just hope this album changes my life. Six years doing music being broke I can’t let it be seven!