Yesterday wasn’t much good really.It started with nightmare. I had some bad news about my harddrive (the one that won’t switch on, and has my next two albums on it, amongst other things). I had a kind of depressing meeting in central London. I was taken ill on he bus on the way home – my insides melted, a weird pain stabbed at the root of my belly, and I drifted in and out of consciousness. The light in my head was red. When I got in the house, I had to lie down immediately. Lying down sucked, acid ate into my guts. Then I got up and was violently sick for a while.
I feel kind of weird right now, but that must be ignored – I have a song to finish. And Jeres and i are playing a show tonight. I don;t know much about it, other than its and XFM club night, at the Islington Accademy. We’re on at 11, I think, its on till 3 or something. Tickets are a fiver.
Rah, gigwise know what the fuck is up. They gave my album 4.5 out of 5, and called it “life-affirming and lovable”, which it is. Forsooth:
“What do we love most about this record – which is, by the way, one of the best British albums of the year.
Is it Akira seamlessly sliding a “Cleopatra Comin’ Atcha” rhyme into a sing-a-long classic called ‘Thanks For All The AIDS’ (incidentally, the track that apparently saw The Don unceremoniously lose the patronage of Eminem svengali Jimmy Iovine). Is it the inspired sample of Nico’s ‘These Days’ for feel-good classic ‘Oh! What A Glorious Thing!’ Or is it simply Akira’s astoundingly good moustache?
It’s all of these things and more – but mainly we love that fact ‘When We Were Young’ is an incredibly fresh, funny, original debut album, brimming with great tunes. Akira The Don may (and probably will) be compared to a couple of artists – the main one being Mike Skinner (although we think an autobiographical Beck may be nearer the mark), but The Don’s singular path has led him to a sound and voice which is undoubtedly his and his only.
Much of the album chronicles Akira’s rocky road from childhood angst, outsider adolescence to shoplifting and homelessness on the streets of London. However, the particularly refreshing thing is that he not only does he regale these tales with panache, a rush of creative rhymes and no little musical invention (more often than not topped off with a infectious refrain), but he also revels in the joyous side of life too.
Unlike the unrelenting, and frankly doubtful, aggressive depression of Plan B (perhaps this was who Iovine was really looking to fill Eminem’s sneakers) Akira The Don’s world is far more rounded and genuine as a result, therefore making ‘When We Were Young’ all the more life-affirming and lovable.
This all said, you can see how Akira The Don could be perhaps too original, too singular to escape the ambiguous realm of ‘cult’ – but his debut album is so accomplished you really hope he becomes much, much more.”