"Rare Akuma is the most interesting artist I have come across in Belgium in recent years." - Zwangere Guy

That statement by Zwangere Guy has a lot to do with the versatility of Rare Akuma, the rising star of the Belgian hip-hop scene. As a producer he makes the beats himself over which he raps and sings. And as organizer of the Hellraiser events, he is also the catalyst of that scene.

dirtytwominus will be released on February 18, 2022. After a few mixtapes and singles, this is Rare Akuma's second full-length album. The title refers to the country code of Belgium: "There is a big difference in mentality between Belgium and, say, London, where a large part of my family lives. I shouldn't generalize, but still I have the impression that Londoners are less likely to have blinders on." Would that explain why he has been more popular abroad until now? On spotify he accounts for millions of streams and in the United States his name buzzes throughout the underground circuit.

With the super-varied dirtytwominus, it's guaranteed to get the whole of Belgium going too. The album collects his recent singles, such as the swagger party TRAUMA! (ft. Yung Mavu & San Andreas), the menacing Wabbajack and the trap of crackuma (ft. Kleine Crack). That trend of dark-sounding singles continues with Dirty (ft. DVTCH NORRIS, Tsar B & KRANKk), Which was inspired by Ludwig Göransson, the Swedish composer of the Black Panther soundtrack, and YEEZUS by Kanye West.

Upcoming concerts

  • 18/02/2022 We Are Open, Trix, Antwerp
  • 04/03/2022 Botanique, Brussels
  • 12/03/2022 KRANKk night, Trix, Antwerp
  • 25/03/2022 hetBos, Antwerp
  • 26/03/2022 Bastion Vijf, Dendermonde

Antwerp-born Shyheim Newell only found his feet in life when he started making music at the age of thirteen. He threw himself into dubstep and drum 'n' bass and released tracks under the name WEISS. In 2015, he discovered his real passion: hip-hop, and changed his name to Rare Akuma. Not long after, he made contact on the Internet with the Midnight Society collective, an international posse based on Soundcloud. He became friends with artists such as Kamiyada+ and $uicideboy$. The latter even used some of his instrumentals on their releases. In 2018, Rare Akuma was selected by Lefto for Made in Belgium, which puts seven promising artists in the spotlight. At the 2019 Red Bull Elektropedia Awards, Akuma received the Chase Award for Best Belgian Urban Artist.

He organized three editions of the Hellraiser event in Antwerp, giving a stage to up-and-coming local talent. Of course, he himself always gave exhilarating concerts, which were compared to "exorcisms". The first edition of Hellraiser took place in concert hall HetBos. The two after that in Trix, where he was also artist in residence in 2020. In the recording studio of Trix, the new album dirtytwominus was created. With this professional support, Rare Akuma could let his imagination run wild. Besides dark trap and hip-hop in general, experimental noise (like a danceable Death Grips) and even sounds that have nothing to do with hip-hop are found on the album. Rules are there to be broken.

Rare Akuma also collaborated several times with Zwangere Guy. On Wie Is Guy, he made the beats for the hard-hitting closing track U Ma Is U Pa and on Brutaal he produced Guttergang and on Brutaal XL again Guttergang II. If Zwangere is the king of Belgian hip-hop, then Rare Akuma is the heir to the throne.

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