MC Akala, the stone cold power-fisted slayer of Charlie Sloth’s Fire In The Booth freestyle session, can also take down any quasi-righteous, over-privileged member of the establishment on Question Time or Newsnight. DJ Mag’s OFF THE FLOOR worked on setting up this interview with him for a year, after seeing him outshine everyone at Grinagog Festival, and selling out Brixton Academy, smashing Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and taking over Saturday night on the BBC talking about Homer (not the yellow cartoon character).
“Eighteen months before ‘Boom’ came out, she was living in a hostel, that’s how fast it happened, the transformation,” Akala – real name Kingslee James Daley – says. “She helped me start a record label, so there’s no doubt my sister helped change the possibilities for the family. She became really successful after I’d left school, she was on pirate radio in our local area.
"Humans are fragile and can do fucked up shit. I have a right to criticise my government without being imprisoned or tortured, to me that is free speech"
Labelling gets us all in trouble. Akala tells stories of himself and doctor mates getting pulled for driving nice cars as critical anecdotes, and explores the systems of profiteering policing, and shoddy media that prays on poverty and fuels systemic racism. His book stands up to educational bigotry, and outlines how the state benefits from purposeful denial and oppression of post-Windrush power. “Obviously I enjoy not being in the financial situation I was in growing up, but does that mean I need to have £10 million quid? No!”