For their first full-length album, The Night of Day, as The Ritz, Apoc and Rel wanted to showcase their ability to explore a diverse array of styles while still creating a cohesive and affecting Hip Hop record. For inspiration they looked to the themes and aesthetics of the gritty noir films of the 1940s and 50s. Rel, son of world-renowned karate master Miyuki Miura, uses a palette of classic soul chops, staccato synths, and haunting strings as the tracks bounce from dark and evocative to soulful and melodic; fashioning more than a few bangers in the process. Now on his third full length project and having hit the road to play shows around the country, Apoc is assigned rapping duties, jumping seamlessly from one style to the next as the album evolves. Using the language of noir and relying on the genre’s motifs of scorned lovers, disenchanted heroes, mysterious pasts and a corrupt and violent world, he spits cinematic tales describing the underbelly of modern American society. Utilizing his vast catalog of styles, Apoc’s nihilistic stories are told with fervor, from the sing songy raps of “Heartless” or “Waiting” to the rapid fire delivery of the title track. He even gives some impressive nods to his native Chicago, exhibiting his aptitude for taking on the city’s signature double-time sound on “The Getaway” and “Blown.” To compliment the striking work put in by Apoc and Rel, the album is sprinkled with snippets from some of the film noir movies that influenced them during the creation of the album. They also get some significant contributions from fellow Chicagoans Racecar of Modill, Giraffe Nuts members Moodswangz and Elfamail, and Rhymesayers recording artist Psalm One, as well as cuts by battle veteran DJ Onceamonth. All of this adds up to make The Night of Day a defining effort in the emergence of two talented and innovative artists.