AKBAR is a rapper and R&B artist from Columbus, Ohio. With a conscious rap style and layered lyrical depth, AKBAR’s sound promotes positive messages of self-love and self- worth. This year, he’s set to release a number of new projects including the singles ‘YRBG’ (an acronym for ‘Young Righteous Black Girl’) and ‘Letters to Berlin’, plus his exciting new hip-hop EP, ’Born King’.
Originally an all-city and district high school football star, AKBAR turned down a potential football career to pursue his engineering studies, before later dropping out of college to start making music.
He was quickly signed to indie label Super Nova by R&B legend Karyn White, who was blown away by a series of demos he’d produced using only his laptop and cellphone.
AKBAR first began rapping as a little boy — his sisters would tease him because he had a speech impediment. Looking back, the emerging hip-hop star realizes that all the obstacles and experiences he faced were leading him on a deeper path to greatness.
His newest song is called YRGB (Young Righteous Black Girl) and it is an amazing song that combines impressive production with some vocal effects that give the song its own feel. song’s video is a beautiful affirmation of love and respect for the black women throughout the world, especially in a time where young black women are often glorified for their sexuality as oppose to their minds. This song is a great example of continuing to fight for the black lives matter movement. Check out the video below.
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Soft Punch, aka Rye Thomas, of Washington D.C. released his debut album, Above Water on September 15th, after years of working on it.
The album is a labor of love that Soft Punch, the stage name of Rye Thomas, has been working on for years since the diagnosis of his chronic illness. It takes you through the highs and lows, mourning the freedom lost, and celebrating the things that he is grateful for in his day to day life. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his process of writing the album.
The titles of albums are the first thing that an artist sees. That, and the artist’s name. When I first heard the name ‘Soft Punch’, I was intrigued. It was gentle but intentional. “I don’t know if I had a specific ‘A-ha, Lightbulb’ moment, but I was interested in words that sound good together and have multiple meanings,” Thomas said. “It’s a gentle hit, and a nonalcoholic punch. It’s the image of something harsh and something soft is interesting to me. I think I lucked out.”