I’ve seen a lot of interesting things when searching for info about artists, but Fly Anakin marks the first time I’ve gotten what I would legitimately call a “fake news” warning in a Wikipedia article. In case said article gets deleted before you read my review of “Skinemaxxx (Side A)” I’ll share the text of the warning here: “This article may have been created or edited in return for undisclosed payments, a violation of Wikipedia’s terms of use. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view.” WOW.

Not only does the accusation seem scandalous, like Anakin or his label Lex Records hired a firm to optimize his search engine results, it also feels like an unnecessary expenditure. On talent alone the Richmond, VA rapper would qualify for notability… if this were the 1990’s. He sounds like an emcee who hails from an entirely different era of rap in exactly the right ways. Imagine a Lil Wayne who never signed with Cash Money Records, never tried cough syrup, and never learned what AutoTune was. Then listen to “Outsidigan’s Anthem” and/or watch him try to shock hip-hop music back to life and back to reality.

“You niggaz gentle, mind been off the lentils
I’m in the middle now this battle feel automatic by my credentials
More instrumentals Fois’, provide the stencils
Fuck what you into, I just need a stu(dio)”

It’s not just the husky, gravelly, high (af) pitched delivery that I’m into — it’s Fly Anakin very deliberately calling out other rappers for what they are into. With a name that literally proclaims him to be a cooler Skywalker, it wouldn’t have been out of question for him to be stunting like Uncle Luke. Instead on “Bonnet Music” he speaks about the “casualties of growing” and becoming more mature while his peers stagnate. “Thought you was just like me, damn.” I can’t state it more clearly than he does when he says “fuck yo’ life and yo’ advice.” He’s moving onward and upward while everybody else is going backward.

Listening to “Skinemaxxx (Side A)” for this review keeps bringing me back to the same question — why would he or his label need to pay for a Wikipedia article? Has the system become so biased against skilled emcees that you can’t even get noticed without greasing the wheels? Foisey should have been all the lube that was necessary for Anakin to slide in. Prior to this review I wasn’t up on either artist, but he feels like the perfect producer to put F.A. on a larger stage. He wears his 9th Wonder influence on his sleeve and I’m not mad at it one bit. I could listen to an instrumental version of “Affirmations” on loop for an hour. It’s a ready made antidote to stress.

It’s been a while since I’ve been so taken with an emcee or producer on my first exposure to them to this degree. That makes me feel like I’m somehow a violation of policy too. If people think Fly Anakin paid for his placement on search engines, they might think Mr. Walton paid for this one too. Rest assured I got nothing for it unless he’s a patron and never told me — and if I found out he was I’d edit this review to include a disclosure. I’m going to hedge my bets a little and not declare this tandem to be the next great thing, but I do think that any controversy about his placement on Wikipedia (or anywhere else) is only a good thing if more people talk about this dope music.

Fly Anakin & Foisey :: Skinemaxxx (Side A)
8Overall Score