Interview | Akala: “Just because you listen to rap or reggae doesn’t mean you respect black people”

In part two of our exclusive interview, Hip-Hop artist Akala talks to Ceasefire's Adam Cooper about Lily Allen, Mark Duggan, police impunity, slavery reparations, the banning of slang in schools and much more.

Editor's Desk, Interviews, New in Ceasefire - Posted on Monday, December 9, 2013 22:49 - 10 Comments

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Photo of Hip Hop artist Akala

Akala: The Ceasefire Sequel (Photo: Usayd Younis)

Known in hip-hop circles for being a voice of resistance, Akala’s new album and tour of the same name, The Thieves Banquet, represents something of an artistic departure.

Taking characters who facilitate imperialism, Akala exposes the hypocrisy of elites through a morbid and gruesome ballad.

While he generally concentrates on the grand issues of structural power and world history, we sat down with him to get his take on the talking points which are linked to them: Lily Allen’s take on womens’ liberation, schools banning ‘urban’ slang, the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan by Metropolitan Police officers, and the spread of the slavery reparations movement, which has now reached the Caribbean.

As always, Akala’s responses ranged across a variety of geographies, histories, philosophical and cultural terrains, displaying his trademark insights and unrivalled intellectual cogency.

For those who missed it, please make sure you check out the first part of our interview.

Usayd Younis

Usayd Younis is Ceasefire Digital Editor. He is a documentary film-maker currently co-directing 'Generation Revolution', a feature-length documentary film about young black and brown activists in London. You can find his website at usayd.com. He tweets at @usayd

Adam Elliott-Cooper

Adam Elliott-Cooper, a writer and activist, is Associate Editor of Ceasefire and a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. His column on race politics appears twice a month. He tweets at @adamec87.

10 Comments

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Blunderbuss
Dec 12, 2013 22:15

What a racist twat…. history levels A my ass

Mona
Dec 13, 2013 0:29

How is he being racist? He makes incredibly well researched, factually-backed statements for every argument he gives and he specifically highlights that the root problem is elitism, regardless of whether that’s black or white elitism.

Adameus
Dec 13, 2013 4:33

How is this racist? Are you people stupid?

Caul Grant
Dec 15, 2013 1:52

Only a racist person who is in denial would regard Akala’s views as being racist

Walter Benjamin: Critique of the State (and resistance) | ΕΝΙΑΙΟ ΜΕΤΩΠΟ ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ
Feb 12, 2014 13:53

[…] Interview | Akala: “Just because you listen to rap or reggae doesn’t mean you respect black people” Monday, December 9, 2013 22:49 – 4 Comments […]

Dr Musab
Feb 24, 2014 12:43

Akala is 100% correct. Blunderbuss is a supporter of one prominent politician that endlessly uses references to Hip Hop culture while literally being allied to many right wing and zionists ‘stink tanks’ such as the Henry Jackson Society, BFF with Tommy Robinson (founder of the EDL) is the founder of the Quilliam Foundation; Liberal Democrat PPC Maajid Nawaz. He is so far up the behinds of the elites he feeds them secret lists of “suspect” minority communities and even those whites that support them:
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/aug/04/quilliam-foundation-list-alleged-extremism
https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/blacklisted-muslim-quilliam-edl-islamophobia-industry/

Person
Aug 30, 2014 16:53

Akala is an over-priviledged & over-educated fool.

James
Aug 31, 2014 14:01

Akala grew up in a council house, on benefits, and doesn’t even have A-Levels.

Fool

a word
Sep 18, 2014 8:55

Obviously you don’t know how hard it is to get a council place, priviledged he certainly is. It ain’t hard living on benefits if you ain’t a crackhead or a drunk, the worst part about it is having to deal with the incompotent bullies the dwp, & rich people making out that you’re living off of them, but thankfully you rarely bump into those stuck up hypocrites.
Over educated, akala, could be. So he’s read a few books, & can convince some weak minded people to listen to his bigotry to the point the very people he’s smearing are praising him cos they don’t realize it’s them he’s talking about. Clever, no, what’s clever about a fool getting other fools to follow him?

ibi
Jul 26, 2016 19:51

lmao are you high, you said he’s stupid cos he ain’t got A levels, tell me what do A level prove? that you went to school and learnt a specific list of maths skills. I am sure one could learn such at home and be better than someone who has an A level in maths. Pfft small minded fag

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