some MC's out there who can drop dope albums that show their lyrical
ability, personality, and philosophy on life without focusing too much
on one subject or sounding repetitive. Brother Ali can do that, as can
Murs and Mr. Lif. Then there's Akrobatik, who towers above them all
for his gift of wordplay balanced with a love for clean living.
"Balance" is a dope track where Akrobatik shows how you "can't
be on point if your game lacks balance." He drops gems with lines
like "there's no balance in rap, you're either a nerd or a thug,
you either got too many big words or bust too many slugs." Word
up on that! Is anyone else tired of people calling someone "nerd
rap" and "commercial?" Where would Akrobatik fall, because
dude's not a nerd, and he's not flossing. Hmm_I guess he goes in the
"Dope MC" category.
Akrobatik is great at what he does, but he's not a perfect person, and
he goes through this on "Hypocrite," where he reminds us that
no matter how hard he tries to live a certain way, he still slips. This
has a bouncy Fakts One beat, who has been doing a lot of dope tracks
lately. Edan comes through on the beat for "The Hand that Rocks
the Cradle," which is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Akrobatik
picks up his speed as he tears through his verses, proving that he can
rip any type of beat. He ends it with "And I'll continue making
jams that you could shake your ass to, just remember not to let the
gems go past you." Not too many MC's are agile enough to adjust
and move to different beats. After this, Akro goes into one of his deepest
songs on the album with the lead single "Remind My Soul."
I get goosebumps when this song comes on, this is a side that MC's are
scared to show, but it's tracks like this that make me believe Akrobatik
is going to be a key figure in saving Hip Hop. In this call for unity,
Akrobatik drops the dopest lyrics on this album and gives thanks to
all of the great historical figures like Arthur Ashe, Harriet Tubman,
Nat Turner, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Akro calls for an end to the
self-hate as he provides a great social commentary without sounding
preachy and arrogant. He has the gift to drop knowledge without alienating
"Front Steps" has Akro vividly describing the various scenes
he sees while cooling out on his front porch. DJ Sense came through
with the beat, and Akrobatik's lyrics are captivating and hold your
attention throughout the whole song. Diamond D comes through with one
of the two guest spots on "Feedback," where Ak rhymes "Any
rapper that tries to beast me is getting thrown against the wall like
Jason Priestly." Diamond D's relaxed and potent flow go great with
Akrobatik's, and this is a compilation where the chemistry hits. However,
the best combo is Lif and Ak, and they've been making heads not together
on wax since '99. They also formed the Perceptionists, with Fakts One,
which should be pretty dope. Ak made the beat on "Wreck Dem"
and Lif brings the dope lyrics that he's known for. Akrobatik can produce
some dope beats, I think once he puts more work into it and concentrates
more on producing, he can get really dope, because his beat is nice
here, but I could see him evolving into an even better beat-maker.
"Cooler Headz" shows Akro's maturity over a decent beat by
DJ Therapy. He weaves this story great, and you really have to pay attention
here to catch all of the subtleties here.
Akrobatik kicks a dope rhyme about sex and rushing it on "Women
Part II" and then tells a dope story on "Limelight."
"Limelight" is about a good girl chasing bad guys, and besides
it being a story that grabs the listener, it showcases Akrobatik's story-telling
"Always Bet On Ak" is real dope, it's got DJ Evil Dee on the
cut, and his Beatminaz team brought the beat. Akro rhymes "You
try to cross over and you get shook in your boots, I made an album with
no singing and I still clocked loot." His previous EP, "The
EP," was real dope, but this shows his growth.
"Time" is a dope track about life, how some things can go
fast and other situations seem like an eternity. Akrobatik really breaks
down the meaning of time, even hitting with a line on the magazine.
This is a song to play when you are going to fast, it'll help put things
back in perspective. "Here and Now" is a really really nice
tribute to all of Akrobatik's fans. D-Tension laced the beat, and Akrobatik
starts it out Run-D.M.C. style with "I was born son of Pamela,
brother of Brandon," and goes through his whole life. He goes through
his idols, growing up, how he used to "rhyme about my skills and
my sexual clout when I barely even knew what I was talking about."
This is one of the tracks that I think makes this album so dope, this
is a straight-up autobiographical track. Just about every line in here
could be a quotable. Plus you may not want to be too hasty in ejecting
the disc after this track. I don't want to give anything away, but there
might be a dope bonus cut as well, but I don't want to give anything
Keep this in rotation, because this is an album with substance and many
styles. The production is dope as well, and a lot of different cats
came through with beats. If anything, "just remember this fact,
you can always bet on Ak." As he says on "Here and Now:"
"Hip Hop's taking a turn for the better this year."
4.5 straightjackets (out of 5)
Prelude to Balance
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Feedback feat. Diamond D
Wreck Dem feat. Mr. Lif
Women Pt. II
Always Bet on Ak
Here and Now