Hail wisdom! From Subba-Cultcha:
Hip-Hop’s ever changing dynamics means there’s always someone looking for a saviour. Someone that’ll change the game, or at least keep it going whilst the genre’s been deluged by a myriad of diluted beat-a-likes who appropriate its sound for a bit of rep. Akira The Don, a short, lanky blonde haired man from wales, probably isn’t it. Instead he’s the blogging, tirading, thoughtful kind of presence that music, rather than Hip-Hop, needs.
When We Were Young, the wordsmith’s debut, might have been the eye catching mission statement, but The Life Equation aims at something much more grand. Not only capable of knocking out Motown sampling love letters about poverty and general loved up-ness, Akira channels the forefathers of modern British realism pop – Cocker, Bragg, Morrisey - to realise himself and his place in a world flush with insecurities, imperfections and wrongdoing. ‘I Am Not Dead Yet’ simply celebrates the fact that Akira, surprisingly it seems, is not dead yet, on ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ Envy and the Don team up to track the breakup of a relationship, a sort of his n’ hers of rebuttals and rejection.
At it’s best The Life Equation sounds glorious, big pop hooks and fluid, galvanising wordplays, which Akira spits out with ease. The worst you could accuse the album of is striving a little too hard to incorporate a smorgasbord of idea’s in the time it takes most people to rifle through one. The title tracks a case in point, a Hip-Hop opus, if you will, fourteen minutes that impart about a thousand different thoughts – including the evils of TV, religions demise to the everyman of iPods and tax returns and the apocalypse. And The Life Equations final solution? That ultimately, life is good, Akira doesn’t get too bogged down by pessimism, and his second offering is the perfect thing to make you forget your worries for a little while too.