Nabin Shanti aka The1Shanti is an all world emcee. Blessed with the title “India Bambaataa” by the Godfather himself Afrika Bambaataa. He’s spent six years rhyming over sees as he called both London and Mumbia home from 2001-2006. All six years he spent his time recording and touring throughout Europe and Asia. He’s been signed to multiple major and independent labels throughout his career and is regarded for his throwback flow, high pitch tone and versatilty.
Check out his wiked new track with Baldi
When I discovered Electronica, my Hip Hop, R’n’b, Rap collected started to fade out, then I realized that there wasn’t much mean or depth in what I was listening to.
Subjects like guns, drugs, hoes and sex being talked about, having a negative impact on society. We already live in a messed up world, and a powerful tool such as music can have a massive impact in changing the mindset of a person either into something inspiring or destructive.
Earlier this year I aired my views on my Facebook status on the matter. My friend Raghav Bhatt then pastes a link on to my wall … “Check this guy out, he’s different” … I thought … “Yeah right” … but how wrong was I! …
I was introduced to an artist who has been dubbed as the KRS One of UK. Akala, a MOBO Award-winning British rap and hip hop artist from the Kentish Town, London is what I believe is missing in the Hip Hop world today. Touching on topics of race, class, sexism, history, war, hip-hop culture and what it is to live in a world one knows to be inherently unequal, yet rounds it all off not with accusations or anger but inward self-analysis.
Listening to Akala you get the feeling he is not just great at stringing words together to make it sound good but he understands different philosophies and has the ability to repackage it to make it accessible to the wider audience. Indeed, Akala’s refusal and inability to conform to prevailing stereotypes means that his records are largely ignored by the sections of the media that speak authentically of the “urban experience” … not surprising as now a days it feels as if we are being dumbed down by what we see, read and hear through different medium.
Akala (the name meaning “immovable”) is a teacher himself. He set up the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company which is supported by the BBC and was opened by Sir Ian McKellan – this project is Akala’s brainchild – going to various cities in the UK trying to get the ‘troubled’ youth into reading and learning via performing Shakespeare plays.
More recently the latest album from MOBO Award-winner is Doublethink is inspired by Orwell’s “1984”, Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Zamyatin’s “We”.
Here are a couple of facts about Akala:
- He used to play football for Wimbledon and West Ham,
- Got straight A’s and A*’s at GCSE,
- His sister is Ms Dynamite,
- He is a vegan,
- Founded his own record label company which he is on called ‘Illastate Records’
Really looking forward to more from Akala … this is was I love, making a difference in the world rather than just making it go around. Nuff respect!
<next post will feature a four part interview on his latest album>
Named after a track by a Tribe called Quest, the Mid-2008 saw the1shanti, member of the Dum Dum Project (DDP) team up with Shefali Kumar to form Bonita Applebum.
I’m actually not a big fan of the conventional Hip Hop, but this is something pretty damn cool. Its unique, you can hear their efforts to spread a positive message through music, leaving out all the unnecessary vulgarity incorporated in this genre today.
Bonita Applebum use an organic blend of Hip-Hop, electronic dance music and international influence which were all factored in creating their release: Why can’t love.
Check it out: http://music.bonitaapplebum.com
Think Kula Shaker meets hip hop and you’re left with a pretty good idea of who Supersoul Connection are. A Slovenian band formed in 2007, led by RMD and Dhyan, their aim, to promote the message of tolerance, awareness and peace through intense lyrics with substance, all from a spiritual perspective.
Their debut album “Klik” released in 2007 is a beautiful and successful fusion experiment. Taking vast inspiration from ancient Sanskrit spiritualism culture that has influenced numerous tracks such as “Avatar”, “Radhe”, and “Maha-Mantra” – written in Sanskrit. Blending it into a trippy, upbeat, musical feast that features traditional Indian instruments such as the sitar and the mridangam inter-fused with electronica, hip-hop, break beat, and trance. A few of the tracks on the album are in Slovenian but they also have their translated tracks in English.
With a fan base just keeps growing, SSC are a conscientious hip-hop band taking the subject matters and passing on to their audience, in a broader perspective through bold and straightforward presentations.
The one thing I love about these guys is that they are all about the cause they strongly believe in, no glitz, glam and no beating around the bush. It’s about the music and the positive message. They have far more in the pipeline, creating their own videos, artwork and spirited lyrics – there’s so much more to come!
Currently unsigned, SSC are looking for a record label take them on.
A superb, direct and clear cut message – brillant!: