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Thursday, March 13 • 11:00pm - 11:30pm

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The streets gave birth to hip hop, and the streets are where it lives. But the corporate world stole rap. Now Akala’s stealing it back. In 2006 Kingslee ‘Akala’ Daley, 23, redefined UK hip hop with his debut album “It’s Not A Rumour”, and the revolutionary, trance-sampling underground smash hit “Shakespeare”. The album, which he released on his own independent label ‘Illa State Records’, received critical acclaim from the British press and earned Akala the Best Hip Hop Artist award at the 2006 MOBO awards in England where he beat out U.S. heavyweights Kanye West and Busta Rhymes. The album smashed through current rap conventions by drawing on a spectrum of influences from balladry and soul to trance, punk, guitar rock, grime and far beyond, and as a result its appeal extended far beyond the narrow hip hop scene into a far wider musical sphere. Akala’s broad appeal is evidenced by his acclaimed live performances. In the last year he has opened up for artists as diverse as Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera, Richard Ashcroft and the Audio Bullys. At the same time he has tirelessly taken his own headlining shows and festival appearances not only across the United Kingdom and Europe, but as far a field as Nigeria and Vietnam where he performed the first ever Hip-Hop show in the country’s history at the behest of the British Council. In October 2007 Akala released his sophomore album “Freedom Lasso”. Musically, lyrically and philosophically, this new album continues to push boundaries. Reflecting the disorder and flux of contemporary life, ‘Freedom Lasso’ is an energetic and visionary essay on the modern way, drawing influences from the whole spectrum of music – dance, rap, rock, punk and folk. Together with longtime producing partner Rez, the pair have created a body of work that shifts even further from hip hop’s dominant beats-and-rhymes-and-braggadocio model: The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Prince, Andre 3000, The Prodigy, Tricky and Nine Inch Nails make strange bedfellows, yet they all feature as emerging influences on an artist who’s put in time figuring out how he sees rock ‘n’ roll history fit together. “I approached this album like I was writing poetry,” Akala says, “more in metaphor than literally. I wrote it so that it's relevant to everybody. It's not just about ‘The Hood’ – it's about human nature. The society I see around me and the world that we live in.” The first single off the new album, “Bit By Bit”, sees Akala rhyming on the difficulties of love over a wasp’s nest of synths and Kraftwerk-style proto-techno breaks. The track has recently been signed to cutting-edge NYC vinyl/digital only label ‘The Savant Guard’, headed by renowned A&R man Jason Jordan, and will represent Akala’s first U.S. release in April 2008.

Thursday March 13, 2008 11:00pm - 11:30pm CDT
Fuze 505 Neches St

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