Unlike the rappers that Jay Z says “shall forever remain nameless,” Appleby opts to remain faceless, letting his music speak for itself.
With all the studies coming out linking selfies with high rates of narcissism, and with rap being a genre heavily inundated by egocentric rhymes, today’s rap music tends be conflated with excessive tendencies towards narcissism. It’s much more rare then, for any artist, especially a rapper, to prefer to err on the side of obscurity, even more so in the characteristically quiet, unassuming, nonchalant sage-like manner that Chicago native Appleby, who never shows his face, has taken on.
Appleby, who rather than assault the public with an onslaught of subpar tracks to keep his name on the blogs, only has six songs available to the public. Despite this, he still managed to catch the attention of two of hip hop’s leading heavyweights and music moguls, who signed him to a deal, proving that a) it’s about quality, not quantity and b) consistency continues to be key. (So no, you don’t need to continuously spam your mediocre music–or your face–across every available platform to be discovered. Ask Appleby.)
True to Appleby’s enigmatic, secretive style, the mysterious rapper has managed to keep the deal on the down low from his friends and family; even his beloved mom was out of the loop for a minute.
In an interview with Pigeons & Planes, Appleby gives a rare moment of insight into his thought process:
“I don’t want anyone [in my family] to know,” he continues. “It’s not that I don’t respect them or that I don’t want them involved, it’s just that this is my thing. I prefer it to be that way.”
Appleby says that if he decides to reveal his face this year, he wants the music to be able to speak for itself and he wants it already be on a much higher plateau than it is now. “Everything is about growth,” he says.
However arcane the lyricist may appear to be, he’s decoded in his music, where the transparency becomes immediately apparent, allowing the listener to dissect the seemingly discorded dichotomy–that the rapper who doesn’t want you to see his face paradoxically shows a little of his heart and soul with with every word of his (he)art form, deconstructing himself in every bar, and that conflation of contradiction collides for the epic explosion that is Appleby.
Take a listen to two of his newest releases, “Scars in Waiting” and “Drinkin,'” below.
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