Akala Releases His Long Awaited Mixtape Entitled The War Mixtape Vol 2

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The long-awaited War Mixtape Vol. II sees the MOBO Award winning rapper return to his roots as an MC without equal. Spitting over some of the most classic hip-hop beats of all time Akala delivers another lyrical master-class on the dark realities of life on the streets of "so-called 'Great' Britain" and the self-belief needed to overcome institutional oppression.

On September 22nd 2008 British hip-hop artist AKALA will be releasing his latest project, "The War Mixtape Vol. II" (available exclusively from http://www.UKRecordShop.com).

Back in 2004 Akala released "The War Mixtape", one of the first ever street-based mixtapes by a U.K. artist. The phenomenal response to this mixtape launched not only Akala's career but also gave rise to the Birtish mixtape scene which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Akala has since released two critically acclaimed albums on his own Illa State Records label, "It's Not A Rumour" (2006) and "Freedom Lasso" (2007), as well as numerous singles and the "A Little Darker Mixtape" (2007).

The long-awaited War Mixtape Vol. II sees the MOBO Award winning rapper return to his roots as an MC without equal. Spitting over some of the most classic hip-hop beats of all time Akala delivers another lyrical master-class on the dark realities of life on the streets of "so-called 'Great' Britain" and the self-belief needed to overcome institutional oppression. At the same time, in a series of venomous battle-raps, Kingslee "Akala" Daley (24) leaves no doubt as to who rules the top of the MC'ing roost and challenges anyone who dares to step-up and try to grab his crown. As if that weren't enough Akala continues to break boundaries by rapping over several beats that may surprise the regular hip-hop mixtape crowd including tracks from Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, Kasabian and DJ Shadow - proving once again that Akala truly is the 'rap-rock-electro kid'.

The mixtape has been mixed, blended, cut and scratched by MATTER, one of the hottest DJ's in LA. The double-CD also includes the original War Mixtape Vol. I.

Described as "legendary" by Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, Akala's has toured with artists as diverse as Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera, Audio Bullys and Richard Ashcroft and his genre-busting live shows have captured a dedicated fan following. In support of this latest release Akala will also be touring the UK during the last 2 weeks of October 2008.

Kingslee Daley chose the name 'Akala', a Buddhist moniker that means 'immovable', yet Akala the artist/MC/entrepreneur is anything but: he is a mutable, restless hip-hop polymath born under the sign of Sagittarius who has rolled through school (straight As at GCSE), the sports scene (he played for West Ham and Wimbledon) and the fast-food trade (he ran an Ayia Napa jerk joint), all before he turned 20. Recently he has focused his energies onto the business of hip-hop, producing his own videos, distributing white labels, mixtapes and founding his Illa State label, the logo of which is a Union Jack in the black, gold and green of the Jamaican flag. This colour scheme couldn't be more appropriate: in the Jamaican original, gold represents natural beauty and wealth; green signifies resources and hope; black denotes hardships endured.

Never one to mince his words, "garbage" is how Akala describes "what was once, not that long ago, the most charismatic, enigmatic, energetic, lyrically creative music on the planet", because it has turned into a reflex idiolect for plastic players with false values and arid imaginations, who know the price of bling but the value of nothing. Akala's unabashed attacks on a lazy, retrograde rap scene, have won him the plaudits of music critics and fans alike, with the genre defying debut 'It's Not A Rumour' moving hip-hop both forward and back into what it was in the first place - a generational voice for change, empowerment and salvation, for himself, his people and for the streets.

Musically, lyrically and philosophically, Akala's sophomore album 'Freedom Lasso' continued to break boundaries. Reflecting the disorder and flux of contemporary life, 'Freedom Lasso' was 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 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.

Indeed when it comes to the history of hip-hop itself there is no keener student than Akala and this latest installment of the War Mixtape series is in many ways his PhD. Beat, flow, message. Akala takes these simple building blocks and creates a complex tapestry that forces the listener to engage with the realities of the world around them: "this is the truth, I am the streets, this is the news".

Reality has never been so in need of a soundtrack.

AKALA October 2008 Live Dates:

  •     Thursday, September 11, London, Madame JoJos
  •     Tuesday, October 14, Winchester, The Railway Inn, 8.00pm / £8
  •     Wednesday, October 15, London, Islington Academy, 7.00pm / £10
  •     Thursday, October 16, Oxford, Oxford Academy, 6.30pm / £8
  •     Friday, October 17, Southampton, Talking Heads
  •     Saturday, October 18, Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
  •     Sunday, October 19, Liverpool, Academy 2, 7.00pm / £8
  •     Monday, October 20, Birmingham, Bar Academy,7.00pm / £8
  •     Tuesday, October 21, Manchester, The Ruby Lounge, 7.30pm / £10
  •     Wednesday, October 22, Bristol, Thekla, 7.00pm / £8

More info & to buy The War Mixtape Vol 2, please visit:
http://www.ukrecordshop.com/item/akala-the-war-mixtape-vol-2-deluxe-edition.html

Please also remember to vote for UKRecordShop.com at this years BT Digital Music Awards 2008 via http://www.ukrecordshop.com/vote - Every vote counts and you can help us win the award for Best Unofficial Music Website in the UK! Thank you in advance!

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