It might be another sunny day in LA, but Ankore MC Akili Shine is on the grind, sitting on the beach with a MP3 player and some headphones, trying to persuade people to check out his group’s album, The People Said…. “They don’t make conscious hip-hop in LA anymore,” he says as he sits on a bench in Venice Beach. Tired, and weary, the hustle looks like it would be taking a toll on the LA-born MC. However, the fact that the group has sold over 10,000 CDs based on this method alone, gives Akili the will to continue.
At first, I was weary about yet another MC trying to hock his tape to me while I was on vacation, cause it happened to me 2 other times that day. But unlike the other groups that I encounted in LA, Ankore stood out. I found myself listening to The People Said… over and over again, appreciating the CD’s 23 tracks more during every listen.
Ankore is trying to change the perception of LA hip-hop and somehow put the West Coast back on the map. The group, consisting of MC’s Akili, Nkrumah, and the songstress Aanis, combines R&B melodies, and conscious hip-hop, coupled with inspriational and motivational messages about black pride, self motivation, and community improvement.
Check out these song samples (MP3) and let me know in the comments if you’re feelin’ these guys.
The group has shared the stage with The Roots, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, and others. Right now, they’re only performing only on the West Coast, but I’m sure that some East Coast dates will be on the agenda soon.