Label: Viper Records
In a game that has produced Muslim nouns like Nasir and Rakim, one can only get giddy when you hear a name like Akir. Cut from the same cookie cutter that has shaped many reputable NY emcees, Akir definitely has the ingredients to concoct Hip Hop’s next stunning opus. Sprinkle guests appearances from lyrical elites like Immortal Technique and Jean Grae, mix in Akir’s ripe 27 years, shake in some hot multisyllabic flows and you have Legacy.
With respect to the classic album checklist, the Legacy is on the board but does not hit the bullseye. The production is a solid B/B+, as beatsmiths like the Heatmakerz, Southpaw, and Akir himself make the album’s instrumentation quite diverse. There’s some boom/bap, some jazz, even a “Tropical Fantasy” cut with Jean Grae that messes around with salsa.
Lyrically, political conscience separates Akir from a line-up of men. His album is laden with screw-the-system propaganda, the most notable of which is the track “Treason” with Immortal Technique where the two take their best jabs at capitalism. However, the album’s strongest track is apolitical bossanova inspired “Homeward Bound” where Akir reflects on his road to making music his career. If there are any doubts that Akir can swing with the lyrical sluggers, the NY emcee offers some tongue twisting in “Apocalypse” when he spits, “Environmental stenches cause bottles elected
neglecting people’s protection against being defenseless.” Expiali-dope shit.
The main problem with Legacy is the album’s length. Running a mammoth 20 tracks long, Legacy challenges the average listener’s attention span at times. To put it metapohorically, after pulling 20 rabbits out of the hat, the magic trick starts to lose some of its marvel. Also, Akir has to break the mold of being a Nas sound-a-like. It’s an unfair comparison and could be the breaking factor in an industry that likes to saran wrap its artists with tidy labels. All in all, Akir has made a solid scratch on the Hip-Hop richter scale.
It’s only uphill from here.