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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Akrobatik "Hope"

By Ralo

Way back in 1995, I  was  the talent coordinator for a program known as The Little George Show. My job was to book guest for the weekly radio show. I was young in the business and was a little nervous about dealing with labels and playing the game on the highest level. Up to this point I had never booked a guest for anything let alone a radio show. Needless to say I was inexperienced and was learning on the job as I went along. I was an extra in a handful of music videos but doing radio was new for me.

I learned about a Boston MC named T Max that was featured in The Source Magazine as an up and coming Rapper to watch. I reached out to T Maxs' people to book him as a guest for the show. When I called I got a hold of a gentleman known simply as Pete, who was handling T Max at the time. Pete told me how  much he appreciated my interest in his artist and we quickly set up a date to fit him into the program schedule. The day of T  Maxs' scheduled appearance on the show I got a call from Pete saying that T Max would be unable to do the show that night, but asked me if I was interested in another artist he had name Akrobatik.  I was not familiar with the name Akrobatik, but I decided to give him a shot- Pete told me he was dope and I needed a guest. What happened next was legendary.

That night Pete shows up to the station with Akrobatik. They both were very humble and happy to have the chance to be on the show. We  made small talk and got acquainted in the studio before bringing Akrobatik on the air. They were interested in what we were doing on our show, and we were interested in what these two guys from Boston was telling us about the growing Hip-Hop scene in Bean Town. Little George, ever the professional host, interviewed Akrobatik and played a few of his unreleased tracks. We were diggin' what we heard from the artist that was a fill-in for T Max. We normally asked guests to freestyle live on every show, Akrobatik was no exception. George asked him if he wanted to freestyle live before we opened the mics again for another portion on the interview. The very modest Akrobatik said "ok", but he was so humble he seemed reluctant.

We didn't know what to expect from a new artist that the world had yet to discover. We actually thought that perhaps he wasn't ready to be put on the spot and freestyle on live radio. We had lots of guests freestyle on air, and had quit a few spit some serious fire. Akrobatiks' reaction to the offer to freestyle almost seemed halfhearted, it was almost as if he didn't have confidence in his skills. Nothing could be further from the truth, he kicked the best freestyle we had on the show before or since. He went so far as to put each person in the studios name in his rhyme- which was totally impromptu and of the top of his head. We were all blown away!

What we didn't know that night was that his appearance on The Little George Show was the first New York airplay he ever got. He was very grateful, and has since gone on to become one of the most recognized MCs among the best underground boom-bap artists. His music has been featured in "The Wire" on HBO and ESPNs' "Playmaker". His music can also be heard in feature films like "Date Movie" and "Wholetrain". He  has since released six solo projects and two group projects with Boston super group The Perceptionists.

In 2011 he suffered a life threatening heart attack and miraculously survived. He has returned in 2014 with a new full-length album called "Built To Last". This is one of the latest joints from his new album called "Hope" featuring J-Tronius.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reks "Rebelutionary" (Produced By Numonics)

By Ralo

Massachusetts has always been a hive of activity in the world of recorded music. Akrobatic, T-Max, Mr. Lif and even Guru are all Massachusetts Hip-Hop luminaries. However, Massachusetts can now be known for Reks. Although the world at large still has yet to recognize Reks, the underground Hip-Hop scene has embraced him for years. Since 2001 Reks has been making a name for himself from Bean Town to the Big Apple.

Reks is back with a new full length album called "Rebelutionary", with artwork that features the great Fred Hampton. He is a throwback to the conscious golden era of the late 80s' and early 90s'. "Passports", produced by Numonics is a great example of what can be expected on "Rebelutionary".  


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