The Demigodz are an underground hip-hop supergroup based out of Connecticut, Boston, NYC, and L.A. Membership is somewhat nebulous and has changed several times throughout the years.
Originally founded in 1990 by two Connecticut teens; Reflex and Open Mic (known then as Jedi). Calling themselves “The Nobility,” they were heavily influenced by the progressive hip-hop of the time, including Public Enemy and the Native Tongues Posse. The duo recorded countless demos in Reflex’s garage with the song lyrics focusing on science fiction and conspiracy theories.
In an attempt to be heard they hooked up with University of Connecticut radio DJ Cool C to showcase their songs over the local college airwaves. The buzz being created by the airtime resulted in numerous battles with local MCs which also increased the recognition of the increasingly-popular teens. It was also during this time that Open Mic renamed the group “The Demigodz,” taking inspiration from one of his own verses.
During their high school years the group expanded with the additions of New London County lyricists; Feedback & De Ja Vu who were involved in the recording of the Demigodz: Coming Like A Storm To Your City demo. One day when the tape was playing on UConn’s 97.1 radio station it caught the ears of a young aspiring rapper named Apathy.
During the early nineties the Demigodz were taking countless trips to New York City, and were slowly but surely breaking into the industry. Shopping their demo around town and spitting in ciphers on Harlem’s 125th St., they began to get connections including Force Five (famous for their roles in the “House Party” movies) who taught them the ropes of the production scene by allowing them to sit in on their recording sessions.
In late 1994 the group split in half due to musical differences. Reflex and Feedback left the group and formed Skin N Bones (also known as French Connection), while Open Mic and De Ja Vu scouted for new talent to fill the void left by the former members. Through a friend of former Demigodz MC Feedback, Open Mic was introduced to Apathy (at the time known as Apathy the Alien Tongue), who he immediately brought in as a member. With his superior lyrical abilities Apathy soon became the group’s most prominent member and formed a strong friendship with Open Mic. Not long after Apathy joined up De Ja Vu dropped out.
During the summer of 1995 the duo joined the New England chapter of the Zulu Nation but soon left and became affiliated with the New York based Alien Nation instead. Using their connections in the Alien Nation the group added MCs Eternia and Naptron the Meta Predator to the Demigodz roster. With new production equipment purchased by Open Mic the group put out a new demo which circulated around the underground and created a buzz on the independent hip-hop scene.
In 1996, while hosting a radio show at UConn, Apathy was searching through the new releases and found a copy of the Jedi Mind Tricks' Amber Probe EP. Seeing that the groups shared a similar sound and content (which was rare in hip-hop at the time), Apathy made contact with Jedi Mind Tricks MC Ikon the Verbal Hologram (also known as Vinnie Paz). Ikon invited Apathy and Eternia down to Philly to record verses which would later appear on the Jedi Mind Tricks' The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological And Electro-Mangetic Manipulation Of Human Consciousness LP. Though Eternia’s verses didn’t make the cut, the Psycho-Social album would be Apathy’s debut on wax. Their connection with JMT opened a lot of doors for the group and led to numerous affiliations including that with Boston duo 7L & Esoteric.
In mid 1997 Eternia and Naptron left the Demigodz due to personal and musical differences. This also ended their association with the Alien Nation. Not sweating the loss, Open Mic and Apathy came together and released the Sureshot Affair EP. Pressing up hundreds of copies and opening their first official website, the EP opened up many ears to the Demigodz. The Sureshot Affair also marked the end of an era for the Demigodz. Their once original style had become the latest fad in underground hip-hop so Apathy decided to take the music in a new direction. Also Open Mic, who had just recently gotten married to the mother of his daughter, decided to leave the rap game and settle down.
Now on his own Apathy wasted no time in getting to work as a solo artist and put out several singles and appeared on numerous compilation disks. Apathy kept the Demigodz name alive by successfully competing in frequent battles and opening for acts such as Rakim and Black Sheep. It was also during this time that Apathy was introduced over the phone, through a mutual friend, to Tampa MC Celph Titled. Celph, who was affiliated with a distribution company in New York soon moved up to the city. Getting a chance to meet him in person Apathy drove down to NYC and the two hit it off immediately. Celph also introduced Apathy to the Bronx Science Records Label with whom he signed a deal and went on to put out numerous 12” singles for the company.
The 12”s put out by Apathy received a lot of hype in underground and even got publicity in mainstream outlets like The Source magazine. Featuring production and guest vocals by Celph Titled, these projects and their success marked a resurrection of sorts for the Demigodz, which had been dormant for some time.
In 2000 Apathy officially reformed the Demigodz, this time as a tight-collaboration of individual underground artists, instead of a performing group. Membership this time included Apathy, Celph Titled, New York MC Rise, and One Two, a friend of Apathy’s and fellow Connecticut MC. Apathy also brought Open Mic out of retirement. In the following months several more additions would be made including El-Fudge, Louis Logic, Spin 4th, and long-time friends 7L & Esoteric. Apathy also added Connecticut producer Chum the Skrilla Guerilla as his personal DJ. This iteration of the group put out a barrage of 12” singles, EPs, and LPs as solo artists, and featured one another on most of their work. They toured extensively (including in Europe) and gained a sizable reputation in the underground. The culmination of their efforts was the The Godz Must Be Crazy EP released in 2002.
The immense success of the Demigodz did have consequences however, and in 2004 most of the new members left the group (all on good terms) to pursue their burgeoning solo careers more closely. After the major drop-out the only members that remained were Apathy (with Chum), Celph Titled, and 7L & Esoteric (One Two and Open Mic still maintain close affiliation). Even this hemorrhaging of talent didn't keep the Demigodz down for long who replenished their lost roster by adding Connecticut MC Motive from the Doe$Rakers crew (known as the Demigodz extended family) and L.A. underground superstars Styles of Beyond. The Demigodz are now arguably the strongest they've ever been both in terms of talent and recognition (especially with the addition of S.o.B.). They also have affiliations (sharing members) with the Jedi Mind Tricks supergroup the Army of the Pharaohs and Mike Shinoda's (of Linkin Park) Fort Minor.
Rap conglomerate, The Demigodz, deliver their long-awaited full length album, KILLmatic, which was released on March 3, 2013, via Dirty Version Records. After years of strongly cultivating their fanbase and branding their stamp within the underground hip-hop scene, this supergroup of sharp soloists unite to create a force of witty lyricism and authentic, classic-style East Coast hip-hop production.
The crew consists of many recognizable names, including Apathy, Celph Titled, Ryu (of Styles of Beyond/Fort Minor), Esoteric, Blacastan, and Motive. Each member has built up their own following over time – and now they all combine to create a powerhouse album that their fans have always wanted. While Apathy, Celph Titled and Esoteric are also part of Jedi Mind Tricks' best-selling "Army of the Pharaohs" clique, the Demigodz are an old school crew that have a strong alliance with their Pharaoh brethren dating back to the late 90's. Additionally, the Godz have been highly heralded by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, as he recruited them to be a part of his RIAA Certified Gold "Fort Minor" project and tour in 2006.
This new album is the first official follow-up since 2002's The Godz Must Be Crazy EP and 2007's The Godz Must Be Crazier deluxe re-issue; both top-selling indie hip-hop titles. "Demigodz is for true, hardcore hip-hop fans," Apathy says. "This KILLmatic album was made to reflect that. We always try to keep it grimy, dirty, creepy, spooky and fucked up." The LP features production from DJ Premier, Marco Polo, Snowgoons, and Will C., among others, including Apathy himself.
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