True God and Shokus Apollo have rapped together for most of the last twenty-plus years. As the two longest-tenured DAR groupmates, the stakes are always high when they collaborate on wax. We know we’ll get good music, but it’s always fun to see exactly where they’ll take listeners. Their latest, Highest Standard 2, stakes claim that these two brothers are two of the best out. I know what you’re thinking. “Speed, they’re your brothers. Of course you’re going to claim them to be dope.”
And to that I say this: you’re damn right I’m going to call them some of the best out, but not for familial reasons.
The way that True and Apollo exert their presence on each of the 24 tracks on HS2 demands respect and listens. Their delivery and masterful bars give listeners a reason to check out the project, but then what they say with those bars, how they move people to action? That’s the chef’s kiss of this album. Whether that action be moving your feet, enacting change in your neighborhood or just getting up close and personal with someone, they bring the music the best way they know how.
As I say with any DAR project, I’d say that even if I didn’t know them for the past two decades.
True and Apollo tend to bring the best out of their Elite cohorts (myself included, as seen on a few tracks off this project), pushing each artist to keep up and even surpass the OGs of the Elite movement. It’s crazy, when one thinks about it, that we all started this back in middle school in outside cyphers. When you look at it that way, it’s impossible for True and Apollo not to be hardworking and lyrically sound every time they step to the mic.
The best thing about HS2 is that there’s something for everyone. From pantywetters to lyrical assaults to smooth rap, the project has it all and does everything it has well. For an album with 24 songs, things never really bog down or become tedious. It helps that the diversity of Elite shines through on the project, as per the usual. My favorite tracks don’t involve me at all, which adds to the fact that I’m putting this one as a good listen, whether you’re familiar with those Elite boys or not. Check it out above via most DSPs and remember to support dope music in all its forms.