Tag Archives: The Perceptionists

New Joint – The Perceptionists

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The Perceptionists – “Dirty Drumz” (@MelloMusicGroup / 2017)

Intelligent, hardcore Hip-Hop from Mr. Lif and Akrobatik off the Boston duo’s forthcoming album “Resolution”.

New Joint – The Perceptionists / Syne

The Perceptionists ft. Syne – “Hose Down” (@MelloMusicGroup / 2017)

Mr. Lif and Akrobatik join forces once again to drop some science on the subject of police brutality for this lead single off their forthcoming album “Resolution”.

 

New Joint – Akrobatik / Mr. Lif

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Akrobatik ft. Mr. Lif – “Where Am I?” (@AkrobatikMC / 2014)

The two Perceptionists emcees re-unite on this Teddy Roxpin-produced concept-driven track from Ak’s forthcoming album “Built To Last”.

New Joint – Alias & Fakts One / Reks / Wispers / Checkmark

Alias & Fakts One ft. Reks, Wispers & Checkmark – “Nothing To Lose” (JWayMedia.Com / 2012)

Posse cut from the Boston duo’s forthcoming collabo album “Second Chances”.

Akrobatik Interview (Originally Posted On HHNLive.Com Mar 17th 2008)

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Ask most new artists today what they’re looking for from their music career and the chances are that longevity won’t be at the top of the list. In today’s industry climate of ringtone rappers, one-hit wonders and declining album sales, many new jacks are looking to get in and out of the business as quickly as they can whilst accumulating as much money as possible. Whereas back in the day the term ‘overnight sensation’ was viewed as somewhat of a derogatory label that suggested an artist hadn’t paid his or her dues or fully perfected their craft, cats today aspire to blow up with their first musical efforts, so they can squeeze the game for all it’s worth financially and fall back before the bubble bursts and their fifteen minutes of fame is over.

Underground champion Akrobatik, however, is someone whose career plan most definitely does stretch beyond only worrying about his next mix-CD placement. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the rapper with the commanding baritone flow first debuted back in 1998 with his rugged single “Ruff Enuff”. But it was Akro’s 2000 Rawkus release “Internet Mcs” that really caught people’s attention, with the Beantown lyricist’s sharp, satirical look at the then burgeoning online rap chatroom community raising both eyebrows and laughter. This was followed in 2003 by the release of Akrobatik’s critically-acclaimed debut album “Balance”, which saw Ak winning the International Songwriting Competition for the captivating single “Remind My Soul”. Shortly after, the dreadlocked mic wrecker joined forces with fellow Boston bomber Mr. Lif for the well-received Perceptionists project on the Def Jux imprint, an album that landed in Rolling Stone’s best-of 2005 list.

Having recently released a new solo set entitled “Absolute Value”, the down-to-earth rapper is hoping that his blend of socially-aware subject matter, competition-crushing battle rhymes and quality production will once again please existing fans whilst showing doubters that he really is here to stay.

Just before jumping on a plane to Florida, A-to-the-K set some time aside for HHNLive.Com to talk about collaborating with J-Dilla, working with his idols, and American politics.

You’ve been releasing product now for over ten years. How do you feel you’ve developed as an artist in that time?

Well, I think I’ve gotten more confident with my flow and just with my ability to hold down a song from beginning to end. I think I’m getting stronger as an artist and maturing overall as a person.

The independent rap game has changed a great deal since you first debuted. Is there anything in particular you feel you’ve had to do to evolve with the business?

I’ve had to learn as many ways as I can to make money. We all have to try to survive and create situations for ourselves to enable us to stay in the business. Like you said, I’ve been here for a long time now and that’s no easy feat to be around for over ten years. A lot of that has to do with me going out and finding opportunities for myself to supplement my income and maximize my potential as an artist. Whilst I think it’s very important for an artist to keep putting out good music, I think it’s just as important to keep your business tight.

You’ve become something of a radio celebrity in Boston thanks to your daily Sports Rap-Up. What exactly does that involve and how did you get the gig?

Basically, the Sports Rap-Up is something that I do every Monday through to Friday. I have a segment on the morning show on Boston’s JAM’N 94.5 that’s one minute long and it plays three times throughout the show. It’s basically a freestyle about the sports news from the previous night. It’s a fun thing to do as I get to talk about what’s going on in the world in real time every day and there are opportunities for me to incorporate things from outside of sports into the Rap-Up with punchlines and stuff like that. It’s definitely a cool way for me to stay in contact with the people in Boston. The station actually approached me to do it as I’ve been in the business so long now that a lot of people there were already familiar with my work. They approached me, I gave them a demo, and it worked out real well.

Akrobatik – “Sports Rap-Up 2007”

Do you ever get feedback from listeners who were unfamiliar with you as an artist, but then after hearing you on the radio have then started getting into your music?

Absolutely. I get emails every week from people saying they’ve been listening to me every morning on the radio and then maybe they went to check out my MySpace page or something like that. It’s definitely bringing me some new fans, for sure.

Your recent single “Put Ya Stamp On It” with Talib Kweli was produced by the late J-Dilla. How did that collaboration come about?

It was a label thing. Fat Beats hooked me up with the opportunity to rock over a Dilla track that they’d commissioned from him before be passed away. I was real fortunate to be able to do that.

Did you feel any pressure recording that track knowing that you were adding on to Dilla’s legacy and that any posthumous Dilla-related material could end up being critiqued harder than what was released when he was alive?

Yeah, I mean I totally understand how that all works and that people may be sensitive to the idea of an artist who didn’t actually know Dilla rhyming over one of his tracks. But the fact of that matter is, Talib Kweli and Dilla were good friends and Kweli and I have known each other for a long time. Although I only met Dilla once, I feel that we really did the track justice and a lot of people do really seem to like the song. I think it’s something that Dilla himself would’ve been into.

Akrobatik ft. Talib Kweli – “Put Ya Stamp On It” (Fat Beats / 2008)

You have features on “Absolute Value” from legendary artists such as Public Enemy’s Chuck D, B-Real from Cypress Hill and Bumpy Knuckles (a.k.a. Freddie Foxxx). How did it feel recording with such Hip-Hop icons?

It’s definitely an amazing thing to be affiliated with guys who I grew up listening to. It’s unbelievable to me to that Chuck D was down to get together and do a track because he was my idol when I was growing up. It’s been a beautiful thing, and if anything, this album will establish the fact that I have the respect of my peers and my contemporaries. If I’d have come up somewhere like LA, New York or Atlanta, perhaps people might’ve heard about me quicker and realized that I was for real. But being from somewhere like Boston, it’s a little bit harder for people to be convinced because there’s not a wave of popular artists from the region I’m from. So I think this situation might make people a little less reluctant to check me out, with me getting the co-sign from people like Chuck D, Freddie Foxxx, Talib Kweli and Da Beatminerz. But that said, I’ve worked very hard to get myself into a position where these people would even consider working with me.

The track you recorded with Chuck D, “Kindred”, has political overtones to it and politics is obviously a hot topic in America right now with the Obama / Clinton situation. Regardless of who actually gets into the White House, what changes would you like to see any new American government make?

A: Well, there are a few immediate things. Everyone talks about the war in Iraq and that’s something that’s really a life or death situation. I would love to see our guys get out of there. I think if John McCain is the President those guys aren’t going to go anywhere and will be dying over there for years. That scares me. I think Hilary Clinton would get those guys out somewhat faster, but I think Barack Obama would get them out much faster. But the Iraq situation is just one thing. We also have healthcare issues and George Bush has left us with a pretty big bill, so we’re going to have to figure out how to get out of that debt as the country’s pretty much in a recession right now. I have a lot of concerns and I’m not sure if the person who’s going to fix them is going to do it necessarily because of what political party they’re from. I think we just really have to figure out who the best person is for the job. I’m hoping that whatever happens between Hilary and Barack, whoever wins that goes on to be the President because I just couldn’t take another four years of a Republican warmonger being the President of the United States and I don’t think the rest of the world wants to see that either. Just for the country’s global image, I think we need to do something that shows people we know America needs to change and that we’re doing something about it. There might be some mistakes made along the way, but I’d rather see that than America making a ‘safe’ decision and thinking that because we’re at war we need to have another war President. I’d just like to see someone in the White House who’s not a lunatic.

Are we likely to see another Perceptionists album with Mr. Lif any time soon?

Yeah, absolutely. We’re writing songs and getting beats for that right now. We’re taking our time with it, but we’re all going to be together a lot this year touring, so the album will probably be formulated over the summer and hopefully we’ll have it out by the fall. But we’re definitely going to do it.

So what’s next for Akrobatik as a solo artist?

I’ve got a lot of things going on. I’m doing a lot of stuff in the sports world right now and am working on some endorsement deals here and there. I’m just really busy and I’m hoping that I can put together another cohesive group of songs so that I can put another album out next year. I think I’ve had my time being the best-kept secret, so now this is my time to shine and just enjoy being in my prime.

Ryan Proctor

New Joints – Bisc1

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A couple of tracks from Queens, NY emcee / graphic artist Bisc1’s forthcoming album “When Electric Night Falls” – the dude’s worked with the likes of El-P, Aesop Rock and The Perceptionists.

“Turbulence” ( Embedded Music / 2008 )

“Parallels” ( Embedded Music / 2008 )

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