Recently dubbed “D.C.’s Greatest Voice” by High Times Magazine, Mustafa Akbar is a rising legend in the global electronic music scene. Last week we premiered Mustafa Akbar’s newest release on SpinSpinNYC and fans are going wild: “Trust” is a blend of raw funk and soul remixed by veteran North American producers Nutritious, Commodore and JPOD into bass-heavy house and glitch-step. With roots in “the Lounge” (18th Street Lounge) scene in and around Washington D.C., Akbar’s singing career took flight after meeting Eric Hilton and Rob Garza, also known as Thievery Corporation, in the ‘90s. Thereafter, Akbar worked among the D.C. electronic funk, breaks, trip-hop, and downtempo elite, penning songs with Thunderball and Fort Knox Five then moving across shores into collaborations with the Basement Freaks on Kraak and Smaak’s Jalapeno Records. His music’s also been remixed by Worthy, DJ Dan, Wes Smith and Akbar’s featured on numerous records across maps and genres. He’s currently touring with his band Nappy Riddem on a string of spring and summer dates, including tomorrow night in Alexandria, plus his own festival, Mustock, which he produces on his family’s ancestral land in Virginia. Eager to hear his take on tunes, Mustafa blessed MAGNETIC with some smoked-out, vintage, soulful sesh selects for today’s Weedsday Playlist.
"Smokin' Room" by Chaka Khan with Rufus
This was definitely one of the songs I used to smoke to back in the day. In fact, the "smoking room" was in the attic of one of my uncle's houses in my cousin's bedroom, which was kind of our club-house.
“Future Shock” by Curtis Mayfield
I’ve always enjoyed the cerebral encouragement smoking ganja induces. When under the influence, I really dive into the lyrics of songs. Curtis Mayfield was one of the deepest teachers out there. He kept social consciousness in the forefront of his songwriting, so I feel obligated to to be responsible when I smoke. He speaks about “the price of meat being higher than the dope in the streets.” As a kid in Philly, I'd smoke a spliff and go get a cheesesteak.
“Funkentelechy” by Parliament
For me, no smoking session is complete without a heavy dose of P-Funk. But then again, I listen to P-Funk most of the time!
This acapella was like a Godsend for a vocalist, well it was for this vocalist. Marvin Gaye is my all time favorite vocalist, and I probably was influenced by him and Curtis Mayfield more than anyone else. I can get high and listen to Marvin's riffs without music and it’s just as beautiful as it is with instrumentation.
“Mad Izm” by Channel Live
This song became my anthem when I first heard it. Channel Live was discovered by KRS One. I sing a verse of this song for every mic check. It's funny because no one knows the track and everyone thinks I'm free-styling. I always let them think it for a little while. [laughs]
“Give Me Your Love” by Curtis Mayfield
This song gives me the biggest musical thrill, especially when I am smoked out because of the the various changes and the straight up pimped out G-Funk.
Photo by Josh Brick Graphics
Connect with Mustafa Akbar online:
And head over to Traxsource, or Juno, Beatport to download “Trust” on SpinSpinNYC, or find it streaming on Spotify, Tidal, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Track It Down, and more.
Nappy Riddem is performing the following upcoming spring/summer dates:
- 4/27: The Light Horse, Alexandria VA
- 5/13: The Fillmore, Silver Spring MD
- 5/04: The Light Horse, Alexandria VA
- 6/03: Jubilee at Joanna Furnace, Jubilee PA
- 6/24: Iris Music Festival VA
- 7/29: Mustock Music Festival VA
- More dates TBA