Voices carry

Akrobatik signs to Fat Beats, Insight goes crazy
By  |  January 13, 2006

For years, the idea that Boston hip-hop is about to blow has been a mantra for the local scene. Recent developments, however, seem to be fulfilling the prophecy. "I think it’s really important that we continue to put out quality releases," says AKROBATIK (a/k/a J. Bridgeman), one of the leading lights in Bosstown hip-hop. "I’m hoping that things like Rolling Stone showin’ us love and the acclaim that cats like Edan and others are getting will continue to get folks lookin’ our way and taking us seriously throughout the industry — and not just locally." Bridgeman is referring to Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2005 list, which put the debut album by the PERCEPTIONISTS, his group with MR. LIF, at #36, sandwiched between discs by Missy Elliott and LCD Soundsystem. The term Rolling Stone used was "luxuriant funk." The trio (rounded out by DJ FAKTS ONE) recently returned from a 2005 tour that saw them sharing stages with Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Common, and . . . Ozzy Osbourne (in Germany, naturally). "This year was the most fun I’ve ever had touring. The Perceptionists’ live show hit a peak by the fall that I have never experienced on stage."

Even more to the point, Akrobatik just signed a solo deal with the internationally respected New York City imprint Fat Beats. The label, which has a storefront on East Ninth Street in Manhattan, has released records by Mos Def, Jurassic 5, Atmosphere, and Kool Keith. "It’s a great feeling, man. I mean, think about it. There are thousands of rappers in NY who would probably like to be signed to Fat Beats, and them reaching out to me says a lot for what I’ve done up to now, and lets me know that people definitely have their eyes on Boston and our artists." AK already has his producers in line. For now, ILLMIND (Remind My Soul) is on board, as are the BEATMINERZ, WILLIE EVANS JR., and DJ THERAPY. "I have a few aces in the hole as well, but I don’t wanna jinx anything just yet." He plays the Abbey Lounge this Saturday with PEANUT BUTTER WOLF and the LAST EMPEROR — but oh, before you go running over to Inman Square, that’s the Abbey Lounge in Chicago. "I’m lookin’ forward to tryin out the new joints in Chicago, because it’s always live out there." Not that anything could make him give up his trademark New England Patriots jersey, which he wears everywhere. (The Perceptionists once toasted the Super Bowl team in a mixtape track titled "The Razor.") "The Pats are untouchable, they have already given us enough memories to last us a lifetime. They are a dynasty, hands down. The scary part is that I think they can do it again. I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy the ride."

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