The Pittsburgh underground hip hop scene is overflowing with artists, new and old, that are trying to make a name in the game. We've seen that come to fruition with talented rappers/emcees like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller and with other artist like Boaz and Hardo who are on the verge. Well here's a lesser known name that should also be mentioned any time Pittsburgh hip hop is the discussion, ARIS.
The New Castle born, Pittsburgh relocated emcee, has been writing, recording and performing for well over a decade. He began his career in the early 2000's when he released his first solo album, Elemental Addict. He and his cousin, Pre-Sense later collaborated with two other local emcees, X-Cal and Ensilence, to form the hip hop collective APEX. They began recording their debut album, FACE THE MUSIK in late 2005. Midway thru the recording of FTM, X-Cal and Ensilence went in a different direction which left the remainder of the album to be completed by Aris and Pre. In June, 2008, the album debuted. With production from Germany's Czientist, the likes of ILLMiND and others It was extremely well received and was nominated for "cd of the year".
In December of 2009, APEX released their second major release STRUGGLE CITY. This project featured the talents of a young Mac Miller and other dope emcees and vocalists, along with more boom bap production from Czientist, Ulliversal, Chim Beats and more. This release was responsible for APEX gaining the nomination for the "Best Group" award in 2009. Aris and Pre-Sense took a slight hiatus after the birth of Aris's first child only recording a couple songs in 2010.
Then, in 2011, they began production on their 3rd and what would ultimately become their last full length studio album, SOUND TRAVEL, The APEX/Czientist Experiment. It was released on July 24th, of 2011. This album was also a solid body of work that was solely produced by Czientist. With more great features and flawless production throughout their fans were not disappointed in the slightest.
After promoting and performing songs from their latest project as well as older material the two emcees became tired and real life things started to consume more and more of their time leaving less to be devoted to their musical careers. Pre began to lose motivation and he was having a tough time finding inspiration to continue writing. Aris had briefly lost his will to write and record too but in hearing fresh releases from other artist he admired he was soon reinspired to get back in the booth. Two years later, on July 30th 2013, ARIS released his first solo project in over a decade. It was titled, The Prelude Ep. He released this album as ARIS Of APEX so that his fans would better recognize his likeness. It was a success.
On October 7th, 2014 he dropped the full length album AUDIBLE CLOUDS. Every beat on this project was created by a producer that ARIS had discovered on Soundcloud. The album was 16 tracks in length and seemed to cause the same kind of positive buzz that past albums had.
Now, in 2016, ARIS gives us his third installment of incredibly written and produced bangers. His new album, THE SURE SHOT, hit stores on August 30th and has been his most publicized, acclaimed release yet! From the eye catching artwork, to the fantastic features, to the neck snapping beats that accompany them, it's impossible to not be satisfied with this magnum opus.
Not many have sustained such longevity, and have been blessed enough to be a part as many solid works as ARIS has over the span of a decade. It's truly something to admire and be proud of. He offers many thanks to everyone that has supported, influenced, inspired and motivated him to continue making music and to never give up.