Friday, November 19, 2010

Skarr Akbar - Pursuit of Happyness 2: The Introduction of Stephen Tatum (Akbar Enterprize)

This is a classic example of why I get frustrated with the laziness of mixtape titles -- Skarr Akbar is one of the most tirelessly creative rappers and producer in Baltimore, but when it came to put a name on one of his best mixtape albums earlier this year, he just nicked the title from a random Will Smith movie. And since it turned out to be pretty popular, now he’s made a sequel, which means that one of Skarr’s most anticipated projects to date is dropping with a generic title like Pursuit of Happyness 2 that just makes it sound like a random workaday mixtape. Then you add the subtitle The Introduction of Stephen Tatum, which doesn't even make sense with a sequel, and man, that's just terrible. The music on the CD itself is good, I'm just saying, dude shouldn't have a song called "Amazing Imagination" and then come with such an unimaginative album title.

In any event, this is a solid follow-up to the first Pursuit of Happyness, lot of good original beats by Skarr and others, really some of his most emotional and honest music to date. I think dude is realizing that people respond to those times when he really vents about his personal life and kinda lets you into his head, so he's really letting it all out here. I like that some of the tracks are only 2-3 minutes long but still feel like complete songs, Skarr doesn't overdo it and make them any longer than they need to be, you get 15 songs in under an hour, which is pretty economical by rap standards. There are guest spots by Jahiti of Brown F.I.S.H., Smash and 100 Grandman, and you can download it at

Skarr Akbar - “Sumtymez” (mp3)
This is one of my favorite songs on the record, although it presents some disturbing evidence that Skarr might be catching the "what else" syndrome from Comp.

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I like it, however, it was aptly named IMO, but, you know, I'm not good with names either. But I felt like it was a concept album and that's what you do with mixtapes, you take existing ideas sometimes and build off of it. You really kind of feel that persistence and determination in his lyrics that Will Smith portrayed in the movie. So, I like the idea. Now if it was his official album, maybe I would have agreed, but as far as the mixtape, i don't mind.
Gotta love them Tatum boys ;)
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