Muslim songstress Akilah Nehanda has joined forces once again with ShaFilms to drop some fire. This time it’s the video to the remix of Fat Joe’s popular track “All The Way Up”. The visuals of the Houston scene (especially the drone shots) are captivating and Akilah’s bars are definitely on point. She spits: “You couldn’t wrap your mind around the way I think if your name was hijab.”
My only issue is: Why so short? (Smile) I understand just as much as anyone about the science of “less is more” but sheesh. Can a brother get more than a 1:44 seconds of this plate of righteousness with a side of liberation lyrics? If this was her way of getting us to want more, she definitely got me.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Akilah, who is based in Houston, and preview the video before its release. I asked her what inspired the song and video. She shared:
“I hadn’t listened to urban radio in weeks, on purpose, but on this particular day after work I decided to turn it to 97.9 The Box, a popular hip hop station in Houston. The beat of the first song that came on caught my attention immediately and I said to myself “Man, this is a good beat, I wonder how old this song is” (just in case I decided to do a remix I didn’t want to be waaaaay behind). I googled a lyric and found out it was Fat Joe, Remy Ma and French Montana and it had only been out for about a month. Everything went up from there (Pun intended)! I wrote the remix and recorded it a couple days later. I knew I wanted it to have a message in some way. I knew I was going to dress in Islamic fashion like I usually do in my videos. Brother Shareef Shabazz, of “Shafilms”, shot my last three videos, including the Rihanna Remix of ‘Work’ that I did and I knew he had the right equipment and look that I needed to shoot this one. I told him, “I’m saying ‘I’m ALL THE WAY UP’! We haaaave to use your drone!” (Smiles). I make music and visuals like this because right now, I don’t see anyone else doing hip hop the way I would prefer it done as a female in the industry. I feel we need strength but still need femininity. We need a message while still needing to dance. We need beauty while still having clothes on. And what better way to explain this paradigm shift than “All the way UP”.
Watch the video below. Visit Akilah’s official website: akilahnehanda.com