"I mean, shoot, there’s a lot of people that use the word love in vain"
Beetbak Tapes' second release, in conjunction with Release Aki Kharmicel Records, comes in the form of soul group Aki Khalaq & the Blak Prints (featuring Aki Kharmicel), the brainchild of San Diego veteran Kennuf Akbar. "It’s kinda like Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass, but it’s a little rawer and a bit edgier than Harold Melvin," Aki explained to me. "I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about love and human sexuality. There’s a lot of misinformation being projected in the mass media about that experience, and I was just letting myself be guided by that experience." So while NaturalLawOfAttraction seems on the surface to contrast much of his earlier work in content, at its core, the message is the same, which only reveals Aki's ability to weave creative concepts into the natural of evolution of his production without breaking the thread that ties his albums together.
The acquisition of a deceased uncle's 45 collection led to the birth of Aki Kharmicel, a soulful raptivist, in the spirit of the late Stokely Carmichael, which quickly spun off into modern soul group Aki Khalaq & the Blak Prints. Aki Kharmicel goes back in time to the 70s... but really Aki is lightyears ahead. In fact, he's albums ahead. The Nocturnal Scientist's vaults are deep and recent songs by AKBARSUN, Aki&theWildOutPosse, and A.K. & the B.P.s are glimpses of albums worth of music that remains unreleased, which we hope to remedy with this, the first in a series of Akbar tapes through Beetbak. What makes Aki's work enduring, though, is that regardless of what gets released, Aki continues to grind out albums, riding a creative streak strictly for the love of the music.
Aki's recent DameRejects series channeled the Rap-A-Lot era in rawness, while careful listens revealed an unapologetically puritanical message. Aki echoed these sentiments in regards to his soul crooning Aki Khalaq persona: "I mean, I’m still the rawest dude doing a love album. It’s probably gonna be the hardest, rawest love album you ever heard in your life." The album veers from reflection to boasting, sweet nothings to shit talking; Aki Khalaq croons to Zora, only for Aki Kharmicel to follow with some boastful raps. This juxtaposition of styles and subject matter, along with the always topnotch production, results in an album that is too good to remain unreleased. So check out the latest from the Nocturnal Scientist on Beetbak Tapes. This album is not being sold digitally, so scoop up a copy of this grape cassette (a digital download will come with purchase of the tape), or hit up Aki for CD copies. Summer is winding down but it's always sunny in Akiville.
A BIG thank you to anyone who bought The Beetbak Tape! We were unsure what to expect but due to the positive response, we're gonna keep going, so stay tuned for the next handful of releases on Beetbak Tapes: DK NoDeal's Folk Hop Blues, Inoe Oner's Master Relm (20th Anniversary Reissue), Aki "Hurt" Kharmicel's TheDameRejects Part 1: Refuge from Refuse, and Massive's Dark City (20th Anniversary Reissue).