The Verse’s George Cooper reviews Akala’s (Rap’s Raconteur) performance at Brighton’s Concorde 2 last Friday.
If you have ever felt marginalised by your politics when exiting the Brighton postcode – usually diminishing into a point of frustration after Three Bridges and wondering where the common sense went – I’m with you. And so is Akala.
Rap’s raconteur Kingslee James Daley – stage name Akala – delivered to a Friday night audience at Brighton’s Concorde 2 a two-hour, mind-monopolising monologue. In the backdrop, a projection of archived political history; in the wings a DJ and drummer; within the crowd Akala’s voice enchanted every ear. The grime-poet was rock, rhythm and real. Expressed in his lyrics was an education in politics, race and history. With machine-gun delivery Akala creates an atmosphere every soul authentically identified with, and consequently each mind was profoundly provoked. Sober became drunk, drunk became high, and high became higher.
Moreover, the performance was a composite of Akala’s past decade of music, featuring Shakespeare, Sun Tzu, The Thieves Banquet and all four Fire In The Booth’s. Akala’s work is the equilibrium of complex and clarity; the words never venture outside the minds’ understanding, but carry with them the conversation of cognitive evaluation. Sometimes is a track that speaks, to most of us, as a manifestation of the emotional wave we ride when pursuing what we believe is the right way of being, and the eventual “fuck it I’ve had enough.” Listening, I felt the same frustration I’d felt infinite times in the voices of everyone alongside me, returning Akala’s lyrics with heartfelt humour.
There aren’t many spokesmen for our generation. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to come up with a dozen, but Akala is just that. His poetic narratives embody collective thought and frustration in a voice than can speak to all types of people. He is what this generation needs: an attractive education.