Brooklyn spitter Akai $olo and his Grip collective have been making waves in the past couple years. In a time where hip-hop traditionalists bemoan a perceived lack of music that reminds them of yore, Akai is a throwback – but the kind that doesn’t sound dated. He recently released 2Gales, a double-feature project that he’s been crafting for over a year. 2Gales is a proper continuation of the sound that’s gained him a following, and a strong 18-track introduction for those who need to get familiar.
The philosophical MC tracked both the 2Gales Moon and 2Gales Sun playlists at nine. Many spiritualities regard nine as a number of completion. Additionally, the moon-sun reference further pushes forth a cosmic cognizance that’s at play throughout the project. The project begins with a discussion between Akai and what may be a mysterious deity in which MC asks for more power.
It must have been thematically granted, because the rest of the project is full speed of head with Akai cutting through rosy soundscapes such as “The Most Ill” and “The Lost Mighty” along with sharp, chunky drums. Both projects consist of astute penmanship that touch on existentialist musings and aspirations in a sense that goes beyond mere material. Every track is a torrential exhibit in which Akai proposes that dope rhymes didn’t go anywhere – maybe he just took most of them for himself.
You can stream 2Gales below, and also consider Akai’s suggestion to listen to the project backwards.