After a year of underground success including picking up a Channel U award for Best of British, Akala releases his explosive debut album featuring his unique mash up of rock and hip hop. It's Not A Rumour is an album that crystallises everything thats gone before it and smashes through current rap conventions. It draws on a spectrum of influences from balladry and soul to trance, punk and far beyond, incorporating a mixture of live instrumentation and inspired sampling like "London Calling" by The Clash and "Loneliness" by Tomkraft.
Harking back to an era when hip hop meant an infinite horizon of possibilities rather than the blind alley of predictability, 22-year-old London rapper Kingslee Daley (aka Akala) has made what could be a landmark album. On a mission to steal the genre away from its corporate paymasters, this self-released disc fizzles with raw energy and outrageous talent.
Opener and unity anthem "Stand Up" sets his stall out to maximum effect -filthy guitars clashing with a righteous 'state of the nation' address. The Clash are sampled on "This Is London", which swipes the opening bars to "London Calling", but the sets highlight is "The Edge" -a Hendrix-inspired fist of fury featuring power-house guest vocals from Niara.
Elsewhere, Daley tackles everything from the congestion charge to inheritance tax, but there's flashes of humour too ("...got more lines than Whitney's nostrils").
Along with Sway's This Is My Demo and C-Mone's The Butterfly Effect, It's Not A Rumour should be on the shopping list of any right-minded music fan this summer. The UK Urban brand has another name to add to its growing list of majortalent. --Adam Webb
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