Did anyone notice in that dope NORE interview that’s been doing the rounds lately (actually it’s old and was done by Life Sucks Die magazine) that amongst his promotion of anti-social behaviour and his own unique brand of straight-up Ignorance, he cited Akinyele’s Vagina Diner as his all-time favourite rap album? That comment alone was almost enough to forgive that Melvyn Flint shit.
I have to agree with “God’s Favourite” on this point though….the Akafella’s debut is an often over-looked masterpiece. So good, in fact, that I copped the tape, vinyl AND the CD versions. What would inspire me to shell out for the triple-format combo like some kind of crazed stalker? Just think about how good this project sounds on paper: Large Professor produced the entire album while he was in his prime, Rob Swift was his DJ and Ak had just come off a dope cameo on the incredible “Live At The BBQ”. And unlike Nas, Akinyele actually lived up to the hype (more on that later). Admittedly, the first single “Ak Hoo Hoo” was a little underwhelming, especially since the same loop had recently been used by A Tribe Called Quest their remix of BDP’s “We In There”, but every other track on the album was a killer (especially “Exercise” and “Checkmate”).
The one possible weakness that may cause some to hesitate before labeling Vagina Diner a “classic” is Akinyele’s “one solid gimmick”, which saw him rocking the last line of every half bar a few octaves lower than normal in a Cookie Monster type fashion. Depending on your point of view, this is either a ground-breaking vocal technique or the most annoying thing since the Fu-Scnickens. I think it comes off pretty well, but only because his punchlines go that extra step. Another interesting fact is that this album had an entire Source editorial dedicated to it, or more specifically the song “I Luh Her”. Someone took exception to Ak’s ode to homemade abortion’s and called him out on it, which led to him writing a letter in his defense the following issue. It seems that the controversy didn’t help his sales much though (which is highly unusual in the rap game), as it wasn’t until Akinyele found a new gimmick (porn rap) that he scored his first big hit with “Put It In Your Mouth”. This in turn led to a couple of Porky’s-style albums detailing various sexcapades and even a movie in the same vein (ha). Which reminds me, I need to grab that Eastern Confernece “Lost Tapes” album with all his old unreleased tracks….
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