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on 17 September 2010
I can honestly say that this is probably my joint-favourite Akala album along with 'It's Not A Rumour'.

Upon first and second listens I was really taken aback by the direction and feel of this album. Akala explores many issues, including consumerism, race, social conditioning, religion and more. What makes this such a great album are the inspirational sprinkles of influence throughout the lyrics and production. From Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead and Public Enemy to George Orwell!

The production has a mature, experimental and bold direction, along with a strong core of social commentary throughtout; "Tired of everyday filling up my car and knowing that I'm paying for the bombs in Iraq/Tired of pretending like it don't hurt my heart, of wanting change but not knowing where to start". Akala explores the ideologies of dystopia and it's a real eye opener when you hear him speaking on various issues that are never normally broached by rappers. The influences are vast and varied and you can really feel the development of Akala as an artist on this album. His ongoing maturity is evident on the track 'I Don't Need'; "Maybe I'm getting old but I feel like it's ok to be vulnerable, to be upset, to admit that I ain't the biggest man on the planet."

If you are used to listening to mainstream Hip-Hop, then you will be shocked by the unique and 'different' sound that emerges. The honesty here is penetrating; "The oppressor must suffer like the oppressed, though I pretend I'm in control of this mess/By inflating my ego, puffing my chest I see my weakness and need to show strength/For what we think strong is cos if were honest, true strength is the strength to be honest" and can surely only be rivalled in the mainstream by artists such as Eminem.

The track 'What is Real' although not one of my favourite tracks musically, has a great message in which Akala imaginately debates with the rappers he believes are selling out by playing to stereotypes. "Pop champagne, corporate chain, act like you've got no brain."

'It's Not That Serious' is a hilarious ending to the album, that genuinely made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it; "It's just not that serious, go to a comedy show, take a bubble bath or buy a pink dressing gown/I don't know, just do something crazy that people wouldn't expect you to do." Would you ever hear a mainstream US rapper saying things like that? Refreshing.

There's not many albums that I listen to (or appreciate) skits, but this is one. The skits assist with the pacing of the album and genuinely add to the 'journey' of the listener.

It's an album that has been crafted, and to call it 'poetry' would be fitting (in my opinion).

Personal standout tracks;

Find No Enemy
Welcome to Dystopia
Marathon Man
Yours And My Children
It's Not That Serious
What is Real?

This is what Hip-Hop is all about; challenging beliefs, challenging the mainstream, and making you think outside of the box. Akala is Top 10 UK, no doubt.

"You can keep the charts, all I want is your hearts"
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on 2 May 2012
Personally, the problem with commercial music is either one of two things, it sends out the wrong message to the children of today or it sends out NO message at all to the children of today. I hear so many songs on the radio that rave about subjects regarding sex, money, violence, drugs, "bling" etc. Just to be clear, I'm not just talking about hip hop/rap, I'm talking about all genres of music in general.

This album however, does none of those things. This is not hip hop or rap at its finest, this is MUSIC at its finest. Akala has not only managed to produce an album which is pleasing to the ear in a musical sense, but above all, the lyrical content is second to none. Before the case is even opened the front cover tells you that this CD isn't going to 'conform to the norm' as it were. 'Doublethink' is a word from George Orwell's book "1984" (read it!). Its meaning, "The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them to be true", e.g. "We can bomb peace into the world".

Nevertheless, don't be fooled into thinking your in for a smooth ride, your not. Intentionally so, the albums begins with fast paced songs which pack a punch that awaken anyone who thinks this is going to be a walk in the park.

A short piano intro, unsure of itself and at times eerie, develops into robust, crashing piano keys, as if lost and in need of finding there rightful place.

'Welcome to Dystopia', 'Faceless People' and 'Marathon Man' quickly jolt you out of your comfort zone and bring important questions to light. 'Welcome to Dystopia' questions how mankind has fallen into a cycle of conforming too and not questioning the government and the media in regards to how we are being conditioned to should think in a certain way and more importantly questioning ourselves, "Don`t blame Governments they are just us, if they are corrupt then we are corrupt".

"I Don`t Need" takes a more placid approach compared to the opening tracks, but with the same endeavour. This is a direct message to the female of our world, "I don`t need to see your cleavage or your thighs, I'm still getting over your eyes and your smile". Once again sending out the message that you don't need to conform to what the media moguls say women should dress like or act like.

Fast paced distorted vocals and guitars follow with "Thick Skin", with an ironic aggressive viewpoint from a brainwashed citizen, "I am a patriot can`t you see, I am a patriot can`t you see".

"Peace" is a wonderful simplistic combination of heart-felt, passionate lyrics and beautifully slow strokes of piano keys.

A frantic "Yours and My Children" takes a look at how the same scenarios are looked on as complete opposites "kill a couple of us, you're a devil, if you kill a couple of million of them, get stripes and medals".

The stand out track "Find No Enemy" is one of the most complete tracks I've ever come across. Harmonious and melodic, it's lyrics will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Referring to what I believe to be Radio 1's 1Xtra, which promotes so called "Black Music", Akala questions this promotion "Call it black radio, don`t make me laugh, so is black music all about tits and arse? You don`t represent nothing, your just pretending, when was the last time you ever played Hendrix".

The album ends with "It`s Not That Serious", encouraging furtherance in ones self but also to have fun in your life. "It`s never to late to get rid of this stress, there`s a whole world out there just look up from your desk".

This is music that will never get the 'peak' airtime it deserves due to the positive message Akala spreads. This guy could easily skillfully rap about guns, cars and 'bitches', get air time and in turn gain lucrative success in doing so. Akala is one of a few diamonds in the dirt, promoting self belief, positive energy that installs a never say die attitude that will truly grab you by the scruff on the neck and encourage you to do better.
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on 17 August 2010
At points Akala's new album "Doublethink" really translates his anger and energy but has instrumental interludes inbetween to break it up, making this a really intense album.

The tracks on this album are varied in style (using piano pieces, electro beats, spoken word parts) and also varying in speed from the slow "Peace" or "Find No Enemy" to fast-paced such as "Thick Skin", and in this way is less uniform than the previous album Freedom Lasso.

The lyrics are brilliant, interesting, personal, and designed to make you think.

I laughed during psycho where he says "I know what it is that's got me so violent lately... it's all this classical music I've been listening to!" What a joker.
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on 10 May 2010
Akala's 3rd release is confident and every track's quality. Many different influences on show... he's not just your bog standard grime artist. Some tracks are heavy and Prodigy-like, others have elements of nu-metal... while others are very melodic. But it's in the lyrics and delivery that Akala really does stand out from the crowd. The album may not be as commercial as many others out there - but the album deserves multiple listens. Stand out tracks are: Psycho, Xxl, Yours and My Children & It's Not That Serious.
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on 15 June 2011
So basically I was introduced to akala through lowkeys remix 'I still believe', this was in jan 2010, since then till march 2011, am ashamed I let akala go by, but his name was still eteched in my head, and i rerally liked his appearance in the remix, then news came by new album due to be released and I though about learning more about this artist, I admit it I goggled up and downloaded his previous albums and mix tapes, but not his new album, put it this way I still haven't even heard his new album!!! other than his single 'find no enemy'.

I started of listening to his first album, 'its not a rumour', loved every tune, learnt allot about earlier life, about his mathematical interests and his restaurant.
My favourite lyric that I loved the most from this album was

Yeah I had a struggle, but really its
When you think of all the millions barely
living and hopeless,
In the news Mother and child, bellies
Put yourself in their shoes, knowin' death
is approachin,
But its not fate, its bait, they were thrown
The deep end of the endless ocean of mans
sin, //cold//its not a rumour//akala

just goes to show, how his mentality works and how he compared western issues with 3rd world issue. So my next listen was War mix tapes, got to see a real dark side of akala, even though war mixtape one was moody compared to war mixtape 2 but I enjoyed his approach into the mix tapes, they allowed him to express his flow on various beats, which in my opinion he HAS the best flow, point proven in 'rap, rock, electro kid', welcome to England part 1 and part2, really does sum up England's ideological view of a ghetto, you also get to learn akala mean cannot be moved, you also learn how akala used the word nigga quite often in war mixtape one but in mixtape two, he ditched the word due to its history, mixtape 2 had allot more electro theme to it and his flow matched some awesome beats like prodigy that I thought it was impossible and thought whoa, I want to be a rap, rock electro kid too!!!

As for war mixtape 2, I personally think this is where akala really did shine, mixtape one as stated earlier was moody, part two brought a cocky approach by akala, to be honest he does justice in show casing his lyrical skill and telling other mc's to re-check their "great" self claimed status, some memorable lyrics were from juelz

`who the best, come on// am so SICK, I don't spit// I throw up//don't understand// you will when you grow up// your boys to wet. So he can't blow up'

See the ironic meaning there based on the idea that sick is cool these days, so to be sick and throw up a mouthful is extra cool compared to someone who just spits a few bars, note again he says throw up, basically when you throw up(literally), it comes from deep inside the body, using this metaphorically you can describe alkalis lyrics, they are deep, coming from deep inside of him, and touching his listeners deeply too. See what I mean, akala is to sick!!!

Time for freedom lasso now, in my personal comparison this album had less of a track list but it packed more metaphors, similes and of course the dictionary compared to the previous releases, the lyrics are allot tighter and more complex, also the beats are allot different, allot more electro compared to the earlier chosen beats, however there is one irritating track on there, I aint saying o more, other than that one irritating track I think the album is nice, I would say this album is a more mature akala, tackling independent thinking and not following stupid ideology, which akala tackles with awesome lyrics and singing, such tracks that describe this best is the opening electro living, where am from and I don't know. Just got my delivery of Doublethink today about 2hours ago, bruv my long review that hardly makes sense is about to be cut short, akala fire in the booth, f64, a64, a little darker, live shows all wicked, I can't wait to hear doublethink for the first time, the packaging is nice, especially the inlay, like it, time to insert my cd!!!.......

"You know, don't ask me
I'm not a prophet
I'm not the answer
I'm just a rapper
A little boy from North London
What you've heard for the last 40 minutes
It's my opinion
My thoughts, my feelings
It's not right, it's not wrong
It's just what it is
It's just Akala"

I don't know//freedom lasso/akala


so been almost a week, after hearing the album, it is a huge difference compared to his other albums, but the content and high class lyricsm is still there, the flow and the beat of track labeled 'physco', actually feels like a psycho, the end tongue twister just wrapped it all up, i think alot of artistic people try to make a timeless product, something that will stand the test of time, in my opinion 'find no enemy' is probably the one track that will be timeless, anyhow as predicted in the title, worth every penny.
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on 10 February 2011
I am not into my hip hop, but I had heard about Akala a few times via Youtube, and was really impressed by his lyrics, music and freestyles. The music industry is dominated by big record companies, so it is always refreshing when an artist comes along on an independent label, and really is worth talking about.

The album has so many influences, and although Akala raps over it, the music isn't always rap music.

His lyrics are so clever, the topics are socially conscious, and very positive. Imagine everyone lived in the way that Akala talks about, a kind of Utopia, where we don't take ourselves too seriously, we do something that we enjoy and are passionate about it, and are interested in ethics, and really thinking through decisions that we make, and breaking down so-called labels, and putting things into perspective, England would be a great place to live in! It is a very educated and concise album, and I love it!
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on 16 January 2011
One of the most unique and creative hip hop albums out there, Akalas creativity certainly cannot be contained in a box. Some songs took a while to grow on me but eventually most songs on the album I had found something I quite liked about. The variety in the album is tremendous, with literally something for most people as you do not get the same sort of beats over and over, but a complete change from one song to the next! His flow and delivery is always on point, lyrics always thought provoking and intelligent and the production is so unique, you can tell how much effort was put into the album. One of the best artists out there in my opinion!!
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on 27 August 2010
quite different from his previous albums, got lots of different influences in there, very talented rapper, great tunes, can't wait to see him live.
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on 21 April 2012
i am very pleased with the product. it arrived on time and with no damage. and akala is an absoloute wizard.
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on 5 January 2013
Christmas present for my daughter (15). She said it's a good cd. I haven't listen to it myself. So I have no comment as yet.
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