||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
|Birth name||Kingslee James Daley|
|Also known as||The Rap Rock Electro Kid|
|Born||1 December 1983|
|Origin||Kentish Town, London, England|
|Genres||British hip hop, grime, alternative|
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, MC, poet, songwriter and academic.|
|Labels||Illa State Records|
Black the Ripper
Kingslee James Daley (born 1 December 1983), better known by the stage name Akala, is an English rapper, poet and academic. Originally from Kentish Town, London, his older sister is rapper/vocalist Ms. Dynamite. In 2006, he was voted the Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards.
Early career and breakthrough
Daley chose the stagename Akala because it is a Buddhist term for "Immovable", and started releasing music in 2003 from his own independent music label Illa State Records. He released his first mixtape, entitled The War Mixtape, in 2004. In 2006 he released his first album – It's Not a Rumour. This proved to be his breakthrough album, containing the single "Shakespeare" – a reference to his self-proclaimed title "The Black Shakespeare" – which made the BBC Radio 1 playlist. His work was recognised with the MOBO Award for Best Hip Hop Act. Additionally in 2006, a mixtape entitled A Little Darker was released under the name "Illa State", featuring Akala and his sister Ms. Dynamite, as well as cameo appearances by many other artists. Akala appeared for a live session on BBC Radio 1Xtra where he was challenged to come up with a rap containing as many Shakespeare play titles as he could manage. Akala wrote and performed a minute-long rap containing 27 different Shakespeare play titles in under half an hour. He later recorded these lyrics in the studio and turned it into the single "Comedy Tragedy History". In 2007 Akala followed up his breakthrough album with his Freedom Lasso album, containing the "Comedy Tragedy History" track. 2008 saw The War Mixtape Vol. 2 released along with an EP of acoustic remixes.
Doublethink, Knowledge Is Power, and beyond
Akala's third album "Doublethink" was released in 2010, and holds a strong theme of George Orwell's popular novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Doublethink contained tracks such as "Find No Enemy" and "Yours and My Children" detailing some of the sights he saw on his trip to Brazil. In November 2010, Akala headlined a live performance at the British Library, to launch the Evolving English exhibition and featured performances by the British poet Zena Edwards, comedian Doc Brown and British rapper/activist Lowkey. The live event also included Akala taking part in a hip-hop panel discussion alongside Saul Williams, U.S professor MK Asante and Lowkey. Akala appeared on Charlie Sloth's show on Radio 1Xtra on 18 July 2011, performing a "Fire in the Booth", and after the great reception it received (over 2,000,000 hits on YouTube), he returned again in May 2012 and provided "Part 2". In May 2012 Akala released a two-part mixtape, Knowledge Is Power, containing his first "Fire in the Booth", and followed that up with a promotional tour in the autumn of 2012. In March 2013 Akala announced via his social media feeds that his fourth album The Thieves Banquet will be released in May 2013, pushing back the future EP The Ruin of Empires to later in 2013.
The Thieves Banquet
Akala's fourth album, The Thieves Banquet, was released on 27 May 2013, including the songs "Malcolm Said It", "Maangamizi" and "Lose Myself" (feat. Josh Osho).
He has performed at U.K festivals: V Festival, Wireless, Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Parklife, Secret Garden Party and Isle of Wight and supported artists such as Christina Aguilera, MIA, Richard Ashcroft, Audiobullys, DJ Shadow, The Gotan Project and Scratch Perverts on their U.K/European tours.
In 2010, Akala toured the U.K with Nas and Damian Marley Distant Relatives tour, which included the British rapper Ty. In November 2010, he also embarked on his own headline tour of the U.K (20 dates).
Use in other media
- The song "Roll Wid Us", was used in the British film Kidulthood.
- The song "The Edge", from Its Not A Rumour, was used in the NBA 2K10' video game.
- The song "Shakespeare", was used on a Channel 4 advert for their Street Summer.
|It's Not a Rumour
|The Thieves Banquet
|Knowledge Is Power II
|Acoustic Remixes - EP
|The War Mixtape
|A Little Darker (with Ms. Dynamite)
|The War Mixtape Vol. 2
|Knowledge Is Power Volume 1
- "Welcome To England" (2003)
- "War" (2004)
- "Roll Wid Us" (2005) – UK No. 72
- "Bullshit" (2005)
- "The Edge" (featuring Niara) (2006)
- "Dat Boy Akala" (featuring Low Deep) (2006)
- "Shakespeare" (2006)
- "Bit By Bit" (2007)
- "Freedom Lasso" (2007)
- "Where I'm From" (2007)
- "Comedy Tragedy History" (2008)
- "XXL" (2010)
- "Yours and My Children" (2010)
- "Find No Enemy" (2011)
- "Lose Myself" (featuring Josh Osho) (2013)
- "Mr. Fire in the Booth" (2015)
- Chris True. "Akala". AllMusic.
- "Akala interview on "The Situation" website". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Akala – Fire in the Booth". YouTube. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Akala – Fire in the Booth Part 2". YouTube. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Akala". BBC. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
- "Knowledge Is Power, Vol. 2". iTunes.
- "Acoustic Remixes - EP". iTunes.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 18. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Official website
- Akala on Facebook
- Akala on Twitter
- on 's channelYouTube
- Akala discography at Discogs
- Article on Akala
- BBC Blast
- Choice FM article
- Akala News & Lyrics