Kingslee James Daley (born 1 December 1983), better known by the stage name Akala, is an English rapper and poet. Originally from Archway, London, his older sister is rapper/vocalist Ms. Dynamite. In 2006, he was voted the Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards. Born in 1983 to a Scottish mother and Jamaican father, Daley grew up in Kentish Town, London. He chose the stagename Akala because it is a Buddhist term for “Immovable”, and started releasing music in 2003 from his own independent music label, Illa State Records. He released his first mixtape, entitled The War Mixtape, in 2004. In 2006 he released his first album It’s Not a Rumour. This proved to be his breakthrough album, containing the single “Shakespeare” a reference to his self-proclaimed title “The Black Shakespeare” – which made the BBC Radio 1 playlist.

His work was recognised with the MOBO Award for Best Hip Hop Act. Additionally in 2006, a mixtape entitled A Little Darker was released under the name “Illa State”, featuring Akala and his sister Ms. Dynamite, as well as cameo appearances by many other artists. Akala appeared for a live session on BBC Radio 1Xtra where he was challenged to come up with a rap containing as many Shakespeare play titles as he could manage. Akala wrote and performed a minute-long rap containing 27 different Shakespeare play titles in under half an hour. He later recorded these lyrics in the studio and turned it into the single “Comedy Tragedy History”. In 2007 Akala followed up his breakthrough album with his Freedom Lasso album, containing the “Comedy Tragedy History” track. 2008 saw The War Mixtape Vol. 2 released along with an EP of acoustic remixes.

Akala’s third album Doublethink was released in 2010, and holds a strong theme of George Orwell’s popular novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Doublethink contained tracks such as “Find No Enemy” and “Yours and My Children” detailing some of the sights he saw on his trip to Brazil. In November 2010, Akala headlined a live performance at the British Library, to launch the “Evolving English” exhibition and featured performances by the British poet Zena Edwards, comedian Doc Brown and British rapper/activist Lowkey. The live event also included Akala taking part in a hip-hop panel discussion alongside Saul Williams, U.S professor MK Asante and Lowkey. Akala appeared on Charlie Sloth’s show on Radio 1Xtra on 18 July 2011, performing “Fire in the Booth”, and after the great reception it received (over 2,000,000 hits on YouTube, he returned again in May 2012 and provided “Part 2”.

In May 2012, Akala released a two-part mixtape, Knowledge Is Power, containing “Fire in the Booth”, and followed the release with a promotional tour in the autumn of 2012. In March 2013, Akala announced via his social media feeds that his fourth album, The Thieves Banquet, would released in May 2013, pushing back the future EP The Ruin of Empires to later in 2013.

Akala’s fourth album, The Thieves Banquet, was released on 27 May 2013, including the songs “Malcolm Said It”, “Maangamizi” and “Lose Myself” (feat. Josh Osho).

Akala feat. Kabaka Pyramid & Marshall – Giants
Album: Akala – Knowledge Is Power II (Explicit)
Video: Shot by Filmawi & Esrael
Editors: Charlie Moreton & Louise Robinson
Release Date: 16 September 2016
Label: Illa State Ltd
Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap
Buy MP3: (£0.99) Akala – Giants
Buy Album: (£6.99) Akala – Knowledge Is Power II (Explicit)


Artist: Akala
Title: The Fall (Amy True)
Album: Knowledge Is Power II (Explicit)
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2015)
Buy Album: £9.99 (2015)
Artist: Akala (Josh Osho)
Title: Lose Myself
Album: The Thieves Banquet (Explicit)
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2013)
Buy Album: £6.99 (2013)
Artist: Akala
Title: Fire in the Booth
Album: Knowledge Is Power – Mixtape, Vol. 1
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2012)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2012)
Artist: Akala
Title: Find No Enemy
Album: Doublethink
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2010)
Buy Album: £6.99 (2010)
Artist: Akala
Title: Bit By Bit (Explicit)
Album: Freedom Lasso
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2007)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2007)
Artist: Akala (Josh Osho)
Title: Lose Myself
Album: It’s Not a Rumour
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2006)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2006)
Artist: Akala
Title: Mr. Fire in the Booth
Album: 10 Years of Akala
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2016)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2016)
Artist: Akala
Title: Comedy Tragedy History (Explicit)
Album: Acoustic Remixes
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2008)
Buy Album: £4.99 (2008)
Artist: Akala
Title: Knowbody (Explicit)
Album: A Little Darker
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2006)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2006)


Knowledge Is Power II (30 March 2015), The Thieves Banquet (27 May 2013), Knowledge Is Power – Mixtape, Vol. 1 (28 May 2012), DoubleThink (03 May 2010), Freedom Lasso (01 October 2007), It’s Not a Rumour (01 May 2006).


10 Years of Akala ( 23 September 2016).


Acoustic Remixes – EP (13 October 2008).


Knowledge Is Power Volume 1 (28 May 2012), The War Mixtape Vol. 2 (22 September 2008), A Little Darker (with Ms. Dynamite) (04 September 2006), The War Mixtape (01 August 2004).


“Giants” (featuring Kabaka Pyramid & Marshall) (2016), “Mr. Fire in the Booth” (2015), “Lose Myself” (featuring Josh Osho) (2013), “Find No Enemy” (2011), “Yours and My Children” (2010), “XXL” (2010), “Comedy Tragedy History” (2008), “Where I’m From” (2007), “Freedom Lasso” (2007), “Bit By Bit” (2007), “Doin’ Nuffin” / “Hold Your Head Up” (2006), “Shakespeare” (2006), “Dat Boy Akala” (featuring Low Deep) (2006), “The Edge” (featuring Niara) (2006), “Bullshit” (2005), “Roll Wid Us” (2005) – UK No. 72, “War” (2004), “Welcome to England” (2003).

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