MORE ABOUT AKROBATIK
Akrobatik jumps through hoops for nobody. As a decade-in-the making stalwart of independent hip-hop’s realest echelon, he backslaps chat room rap phonies spawning in his wake. And when he sails through the mainstream with his daily gig on Boston’s jiggy JAM’N 94.5, he does it on his own terms. In Ak’s words, he’s an MC who went to private school but will publicly execute you.
Akrobatik’s varsity rhyme career hatched in 1998, when his first single, "Ruff Enuff," dropped on Boston’s Detonator Records, which was also home to Outsidaz franchise Pacewon, Bronx alt-hop legend C-Rayz Walz and Stronghold ace Breeze Evahflowin. In addition to introducing fans to his accessible intellectuality, the album paired him with co-defendant Mr. Lif for the first time on "The Fat Shit" B-side and fueled anticipation for an ensuing 12" flurry. By 2000, he had scored national college radio hits with "SayYesSayWord" and the jovially scathing "Internet MCs," the latter of which was released by New York’s Rawkus Records during the imprint’s glorious heyday. Heads were finally turning, and he capitalized on his buzz with a self-titled EP that moved more than 10,000 units and now fetches for a small fortune on eBay.
With indie labels everywhere showing interest, Akrobatik signed with New York start-up Coup D’Etat Records in 2003 for his full-length debut, Balance. Anchored on contemporary rap classics including the famously enlightened "Remind My Soul," the record launched Akrobatik into the global arena and won him first prize in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. Back home, he clocked what would be his first of two Boston Music Award trophies for Best Hip-Hop Act, and won the heralded Boston Phoenix Readers Poll for Best Hip-Hop Album. After years of regional rap stardom and underground acclaim, Ak penetrated hip-hop’s greater critical consciousness as one-third of The Perceptionists with Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One. Their 2005 Def Jux release, Black Dialogue, pitched some of music’s most resounding criticisms of bandwagon pop culture and the Bush regime, and became the only indie rap project to register on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Records of the Year list.
As a renaissance MC, Akrobatik has stretched outside the subterranean bubble to reach new fans. His tracks have appeared on television shows like HBO’s The Wire and ESPN’s Playmakers, in films such as Date Movie and Wholetrain, and in video games including NBA Live ’06, Amplitude, Frequency and Need for Speed Most Wanted. Earlier this year, he even passed through BET’s Rap City to remind kids that real hip-hop still exists. To further tap commercial veins, Ak delivers daily "Sports Rap-Up" freestyles covering local and national sporting news on JAM’N 94.5’s Morning Show. The widely popular stint exposes him to larger audiences throughout New England, and gives radio listeners something to look forward to between T-Pain songs. On the heels of the segment’s success, Ak was drafted by NFL playmakers to tape a commercial campaign that ran throughout the 2008 football season. If there’s one factor linking Ak’s career accomplishments, it’s his extensive tour history. Along with cult, fringe and commercial rap heroes ranging from Edo G. and Guru to The Roots, Fat Joe and Eminem, he’s rocked worldwide gigs including Germany’s Splash Festival, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, and the Czech Republic’s Hip-Hop Kemp. Annual road trips through more than a dozen European countries presented Ak with ample networking opportunities to help stack his Fat Beat Records debut, Absolute Value, with guests including Little Brother, Bumpy Knuckles, Chuck D, B-Real, Talib Kweli and Willie Evans, Jr. Add on production from J-Zone, Therapy, Hezekiah, Illmind, 9 th Wonder, J Dilla and the Beatminerz, and Absolute Value promises to land Akrobatik leagues ahead of rap cats who claim to be approaching next level status but who lack the skills, contacts and track records to get there.
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