CITY PRESS REVIEW: AKA and Anatii's new album

(Photo: Blaq Smith)
(Photo: Blaq Smith)

AKA and Anatii - Be Careful What You Wish For
Available on iTunes at R89.99.

As far as commercial hip-hop goes in our country, AKA and Anatii represent the ceiling. We’re all familiar with their first single, street anthem The Saga, and the beef and shade that came afterward. And now, the reunion, the make-up tape - Be Careful What You Wish For (BCWYWF). They feature no samples on the beats, with all of it hand-crafted by Anatii. Tracks like Bryanston Drive and Jesus Plug have menacing instrumentals with a unique styling. Of course this record has a lot of trap nuances. I don’t know if it would kill homies to kick some boom bap. Less can be more.

I dig the sound effect they use in between tracks, a rasta-sounding vocal, similar to the way The Alchemist or DJ Drama would blend joints on their mix tapes. What I could not bear is the autotune vocals. Remember that track Baddest by AKA? His delivery was playful and heavily autotuned, and it seems this is now his go-to flow. It has to go. Two brothers on one tape with autotune on almost every song ... it’s a lot.

My pick off this would be Angelz, a sinister-sounding beat that gets the most out of Anatii, who spits/sings in vernacular on the hook – it’s sure to be a street banger. Anatii’s flow sits perfectly and that choppy delivery could make you mosh-pit at Taboo.

The album doesn’t push the envelope as much as it could. I was expecting some harder punches and complex schemes, and figured these two were about to flex on the game, maybe introduce a fresh direction.

Lyrically I expected AKA to have grown, maybe talking about perspectives he’s gained at the top, but instead it’s the same party and chill anthems we’ve heard from him before. BCWYWF is radio friendly, a poppy crowd-pleaser. It will translate to some good live performances, but this is by no means a classic and I wonder if we’ll still be bumping it come August 2018.


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