By 2000, Ak had scored national college radio hits with “SayYesSayWord” and the jovially scathing “Internet MCs”, the latter of which was released by New York’s Rawkus Records during the imprint’s glorious heyday. Heads were finally turning, and Ak capitalized on his buzz with a self-titled EP that moved more than 10,000 units.
Ak then signed with New York start-up label Coup D’Etat in 2003 for his full-length debut LP, Balance. Anchored on contemporary rap classics including the famously enlightened “Remind My Soul”, the record launched Akrobatik into the global arena and won him first prize in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. Back home, he clocked what would be his first of two Boston Music Award trophies for Best Hip-Hop Act, and won the heralded Boston Phoenix Readers Poll for Best Hip-Hop Album.
After years of regional rap stardom and underground acclaim, Ak penetrated hip-hop’s greater critical consciousness as one-third of The Perceptionists with Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One. Their 2005 Def Jux release, Black Dialogue, pitched some of music’s most resounding criticisms of bandwagon pop culture and the Bush regime, and became the only indie rap project to register on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Records of the Year list.
As a renaissance MC, Ak has stretched outside the subterranean bubble to reach new fans. His tracks have appeared on television shows like HBO’s The Wire and ESPN’s Playmakers, in films such as Date Movie and Wholetrain, and in video games including NBA Live ’06, Amplitude, Frequency and Need for Speed Most Wanted. Earlier this year, he even passed through BET’s Rap City to remind kids that real hip-hop still exists.
To further tap commercial veins, Ak delivers daily “Sports Rap-Up” freestyles covering local and national sporting news on JAM’N 94.5’s Morning Show. The widely popular stint exposes him to larger audiences throughout New England. On the heels of the segment’s success, Ak was drafted by NFL playmakers to tape a commercial campaign that will run throughout the 2008 football season.
If there’s one factor linking Ak’s career accomplishments, it’s his extensive tour history. Along with cult, fringe and commercial rap heroes ranging from Edo G. and Guru to The Roots, Fat Joe and Eminem, he’s rocked worldwide gigs including Germany’s Splash Festival, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, and the Czech Republic’s Hip-Hop Kemp.
With a whirlwind touring schedule through 2008, more singles and videos from the album to come, and a high profile daily morning radio gig in his home town of Boston, Akrobatik is poised to take his career to the next level and beyond with Absolute Value.