Spirit Roaming is AKAI SOLO’s first full-length collaboration with Backwoodz Studioz. The new album arrives on the heels of his Body Feeling EP, building on its material and existential themes. Here, AKAI’s unique palette is applied to a bigger canvas, without losing the intimacy and the sardonic self-awareness that help define him as an artist—alongside a delivery and cadence all his own.
“Spirit Roaming is essentially self wandering through various self-engineered hells searching for the silver lining,” AKAI explains. “Not quite a shell but not quite full either; rather freshly devastated. I made a lot of foolish decisions and neglected even more important ones. The price for that is being paid in real time. Can I grow post payment or does the crater resulting from the transaction overwhelm me?”
Spirit Roaming features an eclectic group of producers, from vets like Preservation, Animoss, Messiah Musik and August Fanon, to emerging talents Theravada, ibliss, WifiGawd, Roper Williams and JUNIE. AKAI lends bits and pieces of his own production to the mix, but goes mostly dolo on the mic, with Armand Hammer as the lone feature arriving just in time for the curtain call.
Working amidst a renaissance in NYC indie rap, AKAI is both part of that wave and a man apart. The 27-year-old Brooklyn native has collaborated extensively with many of the scene’s stalwarts (including Pink Siifu, Armand Hammer, Navy Blue), but, true to his name, has always navigated his own course.