Save for Later
Akala stopped by VladTV to talk with us about growing up bi-racial in the U.K., the differences between police brutality in the U.S. vs the U.K., and much much more. Akala let us know that being mixed in this day in age versus when he was a young child in the 1980’s was much different. “Now in the U.K. it’s very fashionable…to have mixed children is almost like a fashion accessory, in the 1980’s it very much wasn’t like that.. the 1980’s was the closest thing we had to a civil rights movement in the U.K…” Akala said his mother was even disowned by her family when she was pregnant with his oldest brother. “They told her to get rid of it… the nurses at the hospital, my mom needed a blood transfusion when my eldest sister was born… they promised to give her n**er blood.”
Akala moved to London as a child, so he doesn’t have too much recollection of the instances explained above, however, he has seen the change in the U.K. with the black community. “Being mixed in that era you didn’t really see yourself as mixed… you’re black.” To help explain the difference between the U.K. and the U.S. Akala let us know about the differences in gun laws. British police don’t have guns, but they have a unit of specialists who deal with the issues. “So if there is an incident involving a firearm, regular police do not respond… specifically the unit that has arms that responds.” Just because the U.K. doesn’t have guns they had a lot of other issues. Akala explained that a lot of the laws put in place weren’t the greatest for lower-income people. “We had a set of laws in the early 70’s early 80’s called the SUS Laws… they meant you could be arrested on suspicion on committing a crime, you didn’t have to produce any evidence.” Akala explained this has led to gang violence, incarceration rates, and these are similar to issues in the U.S. However, he also explained those issues in the U.K. were not as bad as what we went through in the United States.
Akala told us there is nowhere in the U.K., and there is only black people, whereas in the U.S. he said his business partner who grew up in Brooklyn had never seen a white person until she was ten years old. “There weren’t public lynching in the 50’s and 60’s in the U.K…I mean the police are not pulling drivebys on a 12-year-children in the U.K…the situation here to me is much worse in most ways. In a weird way, black culture has a lot more respect.. many black people in the U.K. come here.”
Akala’s single “Giants” ft. Kabaka Pyramid will be released on September 16th off of his album “10 Years of Akala” released on September 23rd.
Check out the full interview above.