Akala @ Cargo, London, 2 December 2012

Such fiery eloquence is sorely missing from a mainstream where ‘black music’ is, as Akala raps on Find No Enemy, caricatured as being “all about tits and arse”. In a few lines he neatly encapsulates the rich lineage he follows in and declares “We can call it urban, to me that’s cool, if urban means street that includes jazz too.” It’s certainly easy to understand why he separates himself from “clown rappers” who “disrespect women” and boast “about their latest garments” (What Is Real?) Akala is an incredibly inspiring figure and sadly all-too-rare in his efforts to seriously engage with the world around him. Few people present tonight leave unenthused by his talent. If there is any justice, this astonishing gig will be one of Akala’s final before he captures a wider audience. In this age of austerity and a ‘lost generation’, we need artists like him more than ever. 

Akala @ Cargo, London, 2 December 2012

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