U.K. artist Akala stopped by the Vlad Couch to discuss a plethora of topics surrounding the history of the impact of slavery throughout the world, Black culture, hip hop’s influence across the world, and what it means to be mixed-race in today’s society.
Akala starts the conversation discussing the difference between racism in America versus the United Kingdom. Then delves into police brutality and the gun laws in Britain. Then the rapper gives a brief history lesson on Britain’s involvement in the slave trade, and how they’ve maintained a very “white” history. Akala explained there is nowhere in the U.K where there are only Black people. “You know if you go to the south side of the Chicago, or you go to certain parts of the Bronx, I’ve visited family up there, and literally everyone [was Black.]”
In breaking down the presence of hip-hop in the UK, Akala talks about his Black Shakespeare theory, and how he believes that centuries from now, someone like Nas or Lauryn Hill will be the Shakespeare of their time. He also explains why he feels Damian Marley out-rapped Nas on ‘Distant Relatives,’ after explaining why as a Black man he chooses not to use the N-word anymore.
Listen to the educational and entertaining interview above.