SOME STUFFS: Akir is a man with “The Plan”

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Without fear, Akir is here and is ready to share his talent and verbal expertise with the world, with the help of his forthcoming album The Plan (Viper). With a vibe that is a cross between Mobb Deep, Sunz Of Man, and Smooth Da Hustler, Akir (which stands for “Always Keep It Real”) wants to be sure to keep all ears and eyes open when he is within the listening and visual vicinity, which is another way of saying that he is effective in what he does and will make people stop and pay attention. The Plan features collaborations with Swave Sevah, TL Cross, Sheena Grier, Lo Diggs, and Immortal Technique, the latter who appears in the song below, “Future”.

Not only is Akir an MC, but he’s also a producer, handling eight of the 12 tracks on the album, including five with co-producer Ty Steez, who work together as The Sound (Ty Steez also takes two songs on his own).

The Plan, figuratively and literally is a good one, and if you like Akir’s collab with Immortal Technique, you’ll be able to see them together along with Brother Ali when they tour together beginning in late September at the D.C. stop for Rock The Bells:

September 28… Washington, DC (Rock The Bells, Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium) #/$
September 29… Philadelphia, PA (Theatre of the Living Arts) @/$
October 1… Boston, MA (TBA)
October 2… New Haven, CT (Toad’s Place) #/$
October 3… Northampton, MA (Pearl Street Nighclub) #/$
October 4… South Burlington, VT (Higher Ground) #/$
October 5… East Rutherford, NJ (Rock The Bells, Grass Infields at Meadowlands Racetrack) $

$ w/ Immortal Technique & Brother Ali
@ w/ I Self Devine
# w/ Diabolic

The Plan hits streets and online merchants on September 24th.

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REVIEW: I Self Devine’s “The Sound Of Low Class Amerika”

Photobucket First off, I love the title of this album: The Sound Of Low Class Amerika (Rhymesayers). For years, the music has been treated like a stepchild by those who see anything created by someone of color as inferior. What started out as block or basement party music made millions, and what turned into an industry turned into someone elses jealousy and condemnation. The title suggests that the sound is made by not only those who are low class, but targeted towards anyone and everyone who is low class. If you are low class, then some will say you are less than human, not worthy. It’s target marketing at its worse, and behind the interpreted hate defined by their direct hate is a music and community of strength, power and unity. Thus, the illustrated cover of “low class” people united helps to define the music created by I Self Devine on his latest album.

At a time when hip-hop is less about itself and more about trying to be something that it’s not, it’s incredible to hear an album that shows hip-hop at its best. It’s social, political, angry, confidence, scared, but hopeful, as it touches on the troubles that many people are going through today. It’s not a concept album but more of an album with a running theme, and while it doesn’t make an effort to answer how to solve the problems, it unveils what some would like to hide, the open wounds that have been hard to heal but discussion may lead to it and a solution or two on how to find a state of betterment. I Self Devine touches on everything from drugs to economics, housing to family, and it can be considered an open diary from someone (or a collective of people) who has felt stuck and disgusted with his life. “Exist To Remain” is a plea to say that no matter what happens, sticking together with family and friends will eventually lead back to a state of mental calm in order to find solace.

I Self Devine shares wisdom as if he is a man speaking out in church. His soundtrack consists of songs, beats, and loops from another time in history where the music also dealt with the struggles of the world, as if the “elders” are observing what is happening today and is trying to show, through song, that the pain will one day go away, but one has to make an effort to have that happen. To me, The Sound Of Low Class Amerika could be this generation’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and while the identity of “us” remains a portion of the country deemed as being low class, the state of who and what is low class continues to widen, almost to the point of being irrelevant. Sometimes, sound is all that people have, sound is all that can motivate. In the end, The Sound Of Low Class Amerika is a sound people can rely on because it will always be there. What will hopefully one day disappear is the need for class specifications, and that’s something the music by I Self Devine will not be able to fix, and most likely will not be resolved in our life times. If it can help to plant seeds, then consider I Self Devine an inspirational lyrical farmer.

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