Akil B. Strange is the Flatbush-born, Queens-raised Rapper taking the music world by storm with his captivating new-wave aesthetic.
Brought into this world by Jamaican and Guyanese parents, music was always an established norm in his household, and it was here that life would foreshadow his future as an artist.
Taking most of his influences from the Golden-era's of yesterday, the young budding creative-mind had a rhyme book by the time he was eleven full of inspired lyrics and narratives.
Naturally, it was destiny when he released his Debut as Akil B. Strange in 2015, and his career saw its trajectory skyrocket.
Fast forward to today, after the success of 2019's "Strange New York:12AM-3 AM," Akil B. Strange has returned with the bestowment of new music, and we're itching to get immersed in his sonics.
Straight from his anticipated Album release, "Everything You've Heard Is True," the song titled "Avenue," comes as a welcomed departure from the smooth Flatbush-Emcee cantor of his previous sonic outlines. This track festoons his urban silhouettes with a pumping production that draws resemblance to electronic dance music; there's an oscillating sub that warbles in the backdrops of this mystifying mix, a mid-tempo that rolls in and over itself with the help of scintillating hi-backbeats and a sound-scape background that produces a sense of wonder. When Akil B. Strange's enigmatic and morphing vocals surface overtop of the swindling and resound sample pads, it garnishes "Avenue," with a sense of spectacle and excitement that could only be described as infatuating.
The crooning intro is a softly carbonated tease before the Queen's Rapper manifests as the familiar Emcee notoriety we all know and respect by way of his fervent attitude over the mic. The hook here is a play on a line from "Captain Philips," were the simple words, "Look at me, I am the Captain now," resound and fluctuate with a prismatic echo over Akil's raspy tonality. What's most enticing about this track is that Akil B. Strange.
Strange has managed to re-invent himself here. He's less so worried about long-winded verbiage and incandescent bars like before. On "Avenue," it's more about creating a panorama of magical atmospheres overtop an electro-inspired production, While our protagonist's creative flow engraves the Top-line melody with his own distinguishing hue. The entire experience leaves us with one thought; what will he do next?
Hello Akil B. Strange., it's awesome to sit down and chat with you about what's been keeping you busy. What inspired the new variation in your sound and aesthetic in "Avenue," and has this unique style and character taught you anything about yourself as an Artist?
Once upon a time, When Kanye was still great, he said something along the lines of: ‘Anything can be a hook. It doesn’t have to be the chorus. It’s any part of the song that people repeat.’ What I heard was: fuck traditional song structure. While I love and value traditions. I also love disregarding and deconstructing them. So, when a beat inspires me to deviate from the regular verse/hook/bridge I love to take full advantage and see how many ways I can play with the structure but still make it repeatable.
How did you go about creating such New-age vibes over "Avenue," while still drawing nostalgia from Pop-culture references? Is this something you're focusing on more this year for the upcoming Album?
That just comes naturally. I’m an old soul. But I’m all about constant progression. As a result, all of my music is an endless exercise in navigating the delicate balance between the old and the new.
What are you hoping your audience will learn about you when they listen to Avenue and the other tracks soon to reach us from the Album?
That I’m the greatest hip hop artist of all time. I’m here to shift the culture.
Can you give us a few words that would act as the prologue to some of the newest Music coming from you this year? What would you say, and why?
Hello. I’m Young Strange. Nice to meet you. Everything you’ve heard is true.
What has been keeping you inspired this year?
Life. To me, everything sounds like music and every experience feels like a larger life metaphor. And it all can be rhymed because it’s all connected. Inspiration is everywhere, all the time.