Doublethoughts by Akala

Doublethoughts by Akala

I tried for a while to decide on words to describe Akala. It was a lot more difficult than I expected. Best known as a Grime rapper Akala to me he represents so much more. From his TED talk and Hip-hop Shakespare Company to his articulate and intellectual dismantling of the quasi-logic of British racist politicians through to his Oxford Union history talk. I could go on and cite dozens more fascinating things that Akala has been involved in but You’ll enjoy it and learn more if you go looking for yourself. You may be wondering why I’d mention these things before talking about a poetry book. This wasn’t just a collection of Grime lyrics laid out as a poetry book. This was a genuine poetry collection.

The book itself was a paperback. Akala self-published this material to maintain control of his supply line. Could he have made more money through other channels? Possibly. I admire the way he does everything he can to be responsible for his art. It can’t have been easy. When I read a small press or self-published book I always feel the paper. The quality of the paper can often tell you a lot about how much a piece of work is valued. As expected the paper used for this book was of good quality and a great medium for this work.

There was a utopian/distopian futuristic story to the first part of this collection. It centred around the strength of ignorance as a method of control. What I liked most about this part was not only how I could see it in how our own society is developing but how the seeds that control were already present now and a long way back in the past. It would be hard to talk about this book without mentioning slavery and the control of the proletarians throughout our history. I won’t. I don’t have the skill or intellect to do it anywhere as well as Akala does. The power of his delivery also conveyed his passion and knowledge on every page.

The second section of this book was more of the kind of collection and structure of poems that I am used to. The content though was hard hitting and thought provoking. There was one poem called Yours and My Children that I read over and over again. It really hit me hard. Part of me wanted to put the whole of that poem on here to show you but that would take away from discovering it where it should be found in this book. Below is the chorus that I still have echoing through my head several days after reading it.

Chorus

Kids in Iraq: Yours and my children
Kids in Iran: Yours and my children
Afghanistan: Yours and my children
Even Sudan: Yours and my children
Kids in Brazil: Yours and my children
Police drive by the favela and just kill them
Kids in Brazil: Yours and my children
Police drive by the favela and just kill them

Yours and My Children by Akala taken from Doublethoughts

The third and final section of this book showcased some of Akala’s amazing Grime. It included the lyrics to his seminal Fire in The Booth session and I found it fascinating to slow it down and really try to digest what he was saying. There was purpose and education in what he said not just in this section but throughout this collection. I’m finding it hard to be objective about this book because as with most things about Akala I found it thought provoking and belief challenging. I really hope Akala releases more material like this.

 

 

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