We caught up with up and coming Detroit Rapper Akbar Akeem to discuss his debut mixtape 5 percent Tint. This project is refreshing as it brings another side of Hip Hop that’s not currently glorified in the industry. Hopefully by listening to Akeem’s new project we can get back to empowering each other on a higher level as well as progressing as a community.
Read the entire interview below.
Tell us a bit about yourself and who you are as an artist.
I try to be versatile, I’m still figuring who i am as a person and as an artist. I like to make club songs but I also like to make conscious songs as well, just wanna be an artist who is able to touch different people from different walks of life.
You say that you don’t do music for the money or fame, you want to influence people as well as entertain and give people inspiration to get through the daily grind. Where do get your humbleness from?
Being from Detroit growing up in the hood with humble beginnings kinda forces you to be humble having to struggle and grind for everything you get. You aren’t afforded the opportunity to be conceited. I’ve on both sides I’ve had money and I been in positions where I’ve had nothing, so I know how it feels and what a lot of people are going through. [I] just wanna be someone to have a positive effect on the community.
The production on this mixtape is really dope. What was the process of picking the right producers to get the sound you were looking for on this project?
Finding different sounds that would stand out and be different then a lot of rappers; Basically wanted to stand out and give listeners something that a lot of other rappers aren’t.
What do you generally rap about in your music? What do you want the listener to take away with them after listening to 5 Percent Tint?
I rap about my life on some tracks, might talk about what’s going on in the black community, who I am as a person; to give listeners an inside track on who I am as a person. I want listeners to know I’m not trying to be anyone else and I don’t wanna just rap about women, money and drugs or the same shit a lot of rappers are on. Just real life shit, to know that I’m a real genuine person not trying to feed people a fairy tale fictional story on who I am and what I’m doing. I’m not Big Meech or some rich ass nigga, [I’m] just a dude from the hood trying to make it out.
Break down your mixtape cover for us. We see the Eye of Ra, tinted car, pyramids and the cosmos. Is there a subliminal message in this artwork?
Well I’ve been studying Moorish Science and learning about the ancient Egyptians. Who I am and who we really are as a people, so its been a heavy influence on my life the last few years and just wanted to stand out from the other mixtape covers. You’re pretty knowledgeable a lot of people ain’t on it.
Yes, we have knowledge of certain teaching, so picking up on that was easy. We also noticed that there were no features on this project, was this done intentionally?
I think on your debut it should mostly be you unless you’re in a group. I tried to get some cats I been riding with to get on some but shit never worked out due to time or availability so I just decided to do it on my own. Maybe on my next joint I’ll have more features.
Who are some of the artists you would like to work with in the commercial industry if given the chance. It could be new or old skool, And why?
I listen to a lot of independent and unsigned rappers; don’t really do the mainstream, but there are a lot of cats I’d like to collab with I’ll just name a few – Micheal Christmas, Dot Demo, Jonah Cruzz, Raz Nebyu, Oswin Benjamin, some big names would be Joey Badass, Nipsey Hussle, Amir Obe and pretty much any Detroit rapper down to collab.
If given the opportunity, would you signed to a major label right now? If so, which label would you sign with and why would you choose them above all others? If no, tell us why not.
Probably not because I don’t have a big name right now so they would probably try to give me a bullshit deal and I just have respect for the independent rappers who do it on their own. But I would affiliate with labels.
You just released 5 Percent Tint and you’re already working on a new project. When can we expect your next mixtape to be released?
Don’t have a timetable as of yet, [I’m] still working on promo for 5 Percent Tint, I would be guessing sometime in the summer; I plan on doing some singles and videos before hand.
Where can we find you on the net?
Can just Google me I’m on Indy Live Mixtapes, Spinrilla, Audiomack, Twitter; just type in Akbar Akeem you’ll find me. If looking to book for a feature or just any general question can hit me up on my email at firstname.lastname@example.org or can just hit me up on twitter @313akbarakeem. I ain’t no funny nigga fwm.
You have any last words to our readers?
Check my mixtape out, download it, hit me up if someone got some projects they wanna collab on. I’m down to fuck with whoever fuckin with me.
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