Mobo award-winning hip-hop artist and founder of the Hip-hop Shakespeare Company Akala took time out before his recent Norwich gig to meet a group of young people from MAP’s Soundbites project and the Norwich YAB (Youth Advisory Board) to discuss contemporary culture, society and music.
Akala talked about how he got into rapping, before moving on to discuss the Caribbean sound system culture, UK gang and street violence, wealth and power, the value of English and learning to write in different ways, and the importance of dedication and self-determination in relation to your art.
MAP youth worker Ed King who arranged the visit at City Academy Norwich said ‘Akala is one of the UK’s most important critical thinkers, one of few people really speaking out for the needy and vulnerable within our society. It was great for our young people to be able to meet, sit and reason with him; he gave his time and focus to all, talking passionately, factually and not shying away from sensitive subjects.’
Jaxon Wilkins, one of the young people who met Akala said ‘After 11 years of following Akala’s music it was amazing to meet him and even better to confirm his music to be who he truly is!’