Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Akil The MC

Akil? From Jurassic 5? One of the best hip-hop groups ever? In my town? Holy shit! I'm there!
This was my response when I was first informed who was headlining the next Rapsploitation Session.
I'm a big Jurassic 5 fan so getting the opportunity to photograph Akil is a big deal for me to say the least.
As much of a fan I am, I was a little worried that people may not have been fussed about seeing "just" one member of J5, but Ipswich responded by making this a sold out night, all the tickets went which is a tough thing to do and hasn't happened in a little while. A tip of the hat is in order for that.
I arrived to find people queuing up which was great to see, Akil arrived shortly after me to sound check and get prepared for his performance. Having seen J5 before, knowing they put on a show nothing short of killer, I was excited to see what the now solo Akil had up his sleeve for the sold out Swan.

The support act was supposed to be Sonny Jim, an MC from Birmingham. Unfortunately he got a flat tyre on the way there so couldn't make it. But waiting in the wings ready to jump in was our favorite local rap super star, Truth.
He got the already pumped crowd warmed up with songs from his Procrastinate(k)ing album.
The excitement was slowly building for the headline act, you could see it on every single persons face as the pub started to really fill up.
Akil came out to an already roaring audience cheering him to the stage, I've never heard anybody get that much of a cheer for saying "Hello Ipswich"!
He asked the packed out pub "do you mind if I try out some of my own solo stuff?" of course nobody objected. Akil's solo material went down extremely well, he got the response he wanted. You could see he was relieved that people were into it. It's a completely different ball game being on your own to doing shows with 4 other guys which he has been doing for years so you can understand if he was a little nervous to start out. But the positive crowd got him going and vice versa.
He also performed a few J5 classics like "What's Golden", "A Day At The Races" & possibly Jurassic 5's best know track "Concrete Schoolyard" which I know all of the J5 fans in there were 100% loving. He really got the audience involved to, he beckoned all the mc's in the pub to the stage to join him for a song or two. Truth and Jamie Dyer got up there so fast! What kind of mc misses a chance like this right?!!
Once all the testosterone was out of everyone's system, he invited all the women to the stage to join him for a dance on his last couple of songs. The sly devil. This turned into maybe four or five more songs, the sold out crowd wanted more and more, and Akil was soaking up every second of the good vibes the audience were giving him.
Overall this night was possibly a front runner for the best Rapsploitation Session to date. Sold out, amazing positive atmosphere & outstanding performances from Akil & Truth. A complete success by anyone's standard. He says he will DEFINITELY be back. Well done Ipswich!

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