Emcees who are about the revolution and bucking the system are pretty scarce nowadays (with the exception of dead prez, Immortal Technique and others). Gone are the days where X-Clan and Public Enemy ruled the airwaves and required every man, woman and child to rock a leather medallion and a Malcolm X hat. Today’s hip hop favors bling and the hustle instead of self empowerment. But every now and then an emcee rekindles the fire that P.E. and others set aflame over a decade ago. Akir is an NY emcee with a message and a mission; to carve out his own legacy in the hip-hop game. Not a legacy like P Diddy and reality TV “celebrities” who’s television time dictates their status. The legacy Akir is attempting to create is one of revolution. With that, the aptly titled Legacy album is born.
Akir is one of those emcees who has analyzed the industry and obviously doesn’t like where it’s heading. He landed in The Source’s unsigned hype column a while back after the song “Politrix” surfaced and surprised many with Akir’s talent (“Politicians that be gargling that garbage shit, bargain with anonymous officers of opposite, doctrines for the legal tender documents, pocketin the profits”). Since then Akir has hit the road with Immortal Technique and has even tabbed Immortal to executive produce the album. That in itself should tell you what type of album Legacy is.
While many emcees have a message but not the skills to convey it, Akir possesses the vernacular to dictate his narratives with elegance and maturity. Some may even compare him to a young Nas because of his depth and poetic prowess, but Akir is still his own man on Legacy. “Rites of Passage” is a three movement intro to those that may not know what Akir is all about – and Akir is all about the power of Hip Hop. For those who may question if Akir is worthy of Immortal’s presence, check “Treason” as the two trade lines in such a poignant manner that it almost forces you to buck the system and flip over a car or two in outrage.
Everything Akir spits seems well thought out and with proper production to back his silky smooth deliver. “Apocalypse” provides an efficient backdrop for Akir to provide his watcher-like analysis of the world. The bulk of the production is handled by newcomer Southpaw who seems to have the perfect chemistry with Akir on the album (maybe that’s because he is Akir’s brother). The moving production of “Change of the Seasons” back Akir and Hasan Salaam perfectly as Akir provides vivid narratives. Even Jean Grae joins in with “Tropical Fantasy” as each crafts their own makeshift utopia.
With all the Nas-like comparisons, Akir is able to project himself rather than a clone on Legacy. As an emcee with a conscious he’s able to avoid the trendy “conscious rapper” clones that pop up every now and then. The only drawback to Legacy is the fact that people’s minds may not be ready for it yet. But sooner or later, people will have to get tired of the emptiness of Hip-Hop today and opt for something for more substance. And I’m sure by the time it happens, Akir will be around with open arms.
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