Akala is one of those artists that has remained a constant in the UK hip hop scene as others have come and gone; in some cases they’re still around but can’t seem to catch any limelight. His calibre of rhyming and flow is rare but that’s not just the only thing he’s known for, he’s also got a very concise knowledge not just hip hop history but the history of Afro-Caribbean music as a whole dating back hundreds of years. We suggest you read our exclusive interview with Akala from Outlook Festival last year for more evidence of this.
In his first TEDxTalks lecture in 2011 Akala focussed on the similarities between rap lyrics and the writings of William Shakespeare (you can catch that lecture here). He’s now returned to another TED stage in conjunction with Salford Univerity (TEDxSalford) with a lecture titled ‘The Evolution of the Emcee‘, breaking down the history of the emcee and the respected role they played within African civilisations. Watch the whole lecture below and we’re sure you will find it considerably more engaging than any history lesson you were present for in school.