Akbar : Big Bang Boogie
Cultish beliefs and leftfield beats from hiphop maverick Akbar...
The old-school ethos of the first two salvos, the straight-ahead 'Hip-Hop Is' and the underachieving 'No Suckas Allowed', proves to be a deceptive way to lure the listener in. Once immersed in the conspiracy theories of 'Bigga Dey Come', and the explanation of the genesis of the universe that is 'Drifting Through Space', you'll grasp the deep knowledge being imparted.
Akbar doesn't have the best of rap flows, until he really gets going, sometimes leaving too much space between the words and the beat (as on 'Take It There'), but he does have a way with a lyric and a soulful way of getting his point of view across.
And he would need to, to make the cultish beliefs outlined on 'Mothaship' believable, and to make sure the elegies for the dead on 'Dedication' are felt in the heart. With a production that improves as the album progresses, and beats that eschew the familiar for something left-field, yet recognisable as hiphop, it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for him.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday