Saturday, 19 May 2012

Akira The Don - Unkillable Thunderchrist

Starting a mixtape with an accapella rap is certainly making a statement.

And what a statement, the beat drops and inside of 60 seconds we have already witnessed a dozen or more pop-culture references, including Salvador Dali, the Farrelley Brothers, Charlie Sheen and the 2012 olympic stadium, and chances are there may have even been a fair number that I haven't even picked up on.

It is this richness of reference points, combined with an honesty and wit that has seen welsh rapper Akira The Don blazing his own unique trail with every release.

Unkillable Thunderchrist is a ridiculously over-inflated title for the rappers 27th mixtape, which comes a year after the release of the second album proper, yet with suitable scope and a magnificent pomp, it hardly seems inappropriate given Akira's larger than life character and tendency to put the world to rights through the power of song. 

In terms of content (though not quality) it certainly is a mixed bag, from the self-explanatory Wu Tang riffing D.R.E.A.M (debt rules everything around me), onto Lemmings, sampling the classic computer game of the same name while broaching recent issues such as the mis-handling of the possible fuel crisis and the sinister Kony 2012 propaganda, right through to more personal experiences like watching Terminator underage, school's sex education and the exuberance of time mis-spent after a move to London.

Fans of rap prefixed with the term 'gangsta' may turn up their nose at a droll cover version of Justin Beiber's Baby, delivered over an elevator style Muzak track, but with an array of guest raps provided by collaborators old and new, there should be plenty more besides for those that are still immune to rampant Bieber Fever.

Indeed, it is the 7 minute opus, Give Me Something (11:11), at the heart of the mixtape that features Akira The Don solely on production duties and is instead headed up by Manchester MC, Envy, that is the absolute highlight of this release. A moving tribute to her late mother, recounting both the hardships and the happy memories that flood back as a simple drum beat kicks over a delicate guitar sample.

Although this is followed by the aforementioned Baby cover.

You have been warned.

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