Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Keep on keeping on
on 28 September 2007
Akala's first album was utterly brilliant with a relentless track listing. Freedom Lasso mixes it up a little more, with more slower tracks, some singing and some gentler themes (love being one). The album is incredibly strong and apart from a couple of miscues (such as the Siouxie Sioux sample), this is more great stuff from Ms Dynamite's kid brother. If I had to pick, I'd say "It's not a rumour" is a marginally better album than "Freedom Lasso" - but not by much. Both albums force you to listen to his lyrics, though. Welcome to the mind of a brilliant young artist, concerned with his environment and with the guts to speak out against the cliches.
Akala is without doubt the most honest and talented rapper in the UK right now. Sway and Kano are good, but Akala is better. In terms of self-awareness, his music reminds me of the daisy generation of hip hop - De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Monie Love, Neneh Cherry etc. In terms of raw aggression, he reminds me of Public Enemy, NWA and Ice-T. (Thing is, listening back to PE & NWA now, the politics seems a little naive). He answers all my criticisms of hip hop and brings it back to the its birthplace. He keeps hip hop relevant.
Kanye West is concerned about conflict diamonds, but he still rocks plenty of bling. Akala doesn't learn about social issues from the latest Hollywood blockbuster - he's well read and knows his history.
However, this album is not limited to being "conscious" - it's also got great tunes. Akala's skills continue to progress - certainly far more versatile and fearless than Kano.
He should be more than an underground- or UK- phenomenon. He's so good, that I doubt he'll get the recognition he deserves. Be one in the know and get both Akala albums.