SmartBlackKid is a Brooklyn based rock project of singer, songwriter, musician/producer, Hakhi Alakhun. Former lead guitarist with The Lo Frequency and Bullyfoot Massive, SmartBlackKid went solo and released 10 albums between 2012 and 2013 via Bandcamp. SmartBlackKid produced the albums in a monthly series from April 2012 to January 2013. On September 13th, SmartBlackKid released The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1 on Bandcamp, iTunes, Apple Music and 30 other music stores.
Hakhi sings lead and backing vocals, plays all the instruments, and produces his music himself at his home studio which he calls SBK Studios. The music is published from his own indie label imprint 4PJMusic Group. “I’m not singing about getting the girl, or the breakup or the typical things happening in music today, Hakhi says, “I’m daring to sing about what’s really on my mind, the future of society and our world. I can’t be the only who cares about that.” The lead single from the album, “Free Thought”, is a social commentary on maintaining rights to privacy and freedom in this digital age of surveillance.
Hakhi has gone from being a self-taught keyboardist at the age of 9, to singing backing vocals on the remix of the hit Don’t Look Any Further by Dennis Edward and The Weather Girls in 1998, to being a spoken word artist and a self-taught guitarist. The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1, features 17 songs taken from his first 5 albums.
This album is another step in the continuing process of the musical genius that is SmartBlackKid. His 11th studio album shines as brightly as his first, and the rich, heartfelt soul searching lyrics accompany the wonderful, soulful, funky rock music. Each song is a treasure. This is a full throttle album from start to finish.
SmartBlackKid has shown himself to take his seeming eclecticism and ability to showcase his influence, and to help his listeners to realize that all of the music within his spectrum comes from the same source. It’s all from smack dab in the middle of his heart. The blues, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and funk are all very close links in a chain-all of which inspire each other in seemingly infinite combinations. Hakhi’s love of a slinky rock groove and expressing the emotions of passion, the wonder of life and pinpointed social issues in his lyrics, play perfectly with the fact that he turns up the honesty factor high in his albums.
With The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1, Hakhi takes his talents, skills and prowess as a serious rock performer and producer to the next level. His songs are catchy, his grooves deep and he rocks with attitude. If you want to hear the depth of Hakhi’s musical inspiration, tune into “Free Thought”, “ Powerful”, “Chill”, “Live Again”, “ Deserve”, “Take Your Power” and “These are the ways”.
This album rocks from beginning to end. Hakhi’s guitar riffs are killer and the drumming is superb. I could easily just write the word ‘awesome’ and explain this album thoroughly, but it deserves way more praise than that. Quite simply, SmartBlackKid is underrated as an artist and this is a masterpiece of songwriting, rock power, funky jams and soul baring emotion.