Rapping from CYNE to Akin Yai

Akin Aurore Lucas TAFMAG

Akin comes from many places. Before settling in in Paris, the rapper lived in Benin, Nigeria, and America. It’s over there, in Gainesville, Florida, that Akin met CYNE members, producers Speck, Enoch and MC Cise Star.

But before this was all obvious, Akin had decided to leave the US once more to come to Paris go to my site. While studying at la Sorbonne, Akin had left his musical productions with Cise Star on the other side of the Atlantic. Destiny chose differently, calling him back to the US: one day, Akin received a call from CYNE’s future producers Speck and Enoch, interested in forming a crew with him and Cise Star. “Should I go back or not?” he kept asking himself. He gave everything up and went for it. CYNE was formed.

Music has always been present in Akin’s life. “I was always beating and drumming on stuff”, he recalls. Living Florida as a teenager, Akin discovered America’s pop culture with Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston, or Public Enemy… “I’m an 80’s baby”, confirms the rapper who also says there used to be more diversity then. And so many influences from major bands worldwide: Krafwerk of Germany, De La Soul or NWA in the US.

It’s after he discovered the song from Naas, If I rule the world, that Akin decided he wanted to rap. He started writing “like crazy”. His parents even got worried from all those scribbles. Back then, his lyrics looked something like: “I think I’m cool, I’m swimming in a pool”. But his father didn’t understand – or approve? – and instead of offering his son the eagerly awaited drums, he bought him a violin.

But Akin kept rapping. What matters most in rap is honesty, says Akin: “You have to have a good sense of self, stay true to your self. Hip hop is a language, used to communicate ideas”, observes Akin who sees the musical genre as a vector of thoughts. Hip-hop has always offered a universal approach. It’s the meaning of CYNE, Cultivating Your New Experience. CYNE thus promotes a ubiquitous culture, the one of rap and hip-hop. Just like a sign: wherever you are in the world, you are aware of what a sign indicates. You might not want to follow it, but you understand it.

Akin going solo is an extension of CYNE. It’s his way of focusing on his own experience, having different roots and a bicultural story from Africa and America. The rapper says he needed to dig more in to that part of his identity. Ironically, Akin recalls: “I started to see signs. At the moment when I was like “should I leave”?

Then, CYNE came to Paris to tour. Akin decided to stay on a whim. He was sharing an apartment in LA at the time, but never went back. “In my head, I always knew that I was going be living here at some point”. Today, speaking of his break-up wit CYNE, the rapper puts it simply: “Oceans got involved”.

His solo albums are more progressive hip-hop now. Akin keeps his roots with CYNE and experiments from it. For his album Nomadic, the rapper had a specific idea of what to do. He turned to his own life and spoke about his African and American origins. It’s a self-portrait, “like a manifesto”, he says.

“I always make music from what I am directly influenced by”. Every album has a musical mentor. At the time of Nomadic, it’s British musician Brian Eno. For We are Leaders not Saint, Akin refers to Joy Divison. Not to forget that the city he lives in influences his musical genre. We can thus thank Paris and its never-ending artsy inspirations for We Are Leaders not Saints, released this Tuesday on EWA records.


Pauline Guillonneau
Photos : Aurore Lucas

Follow Akin on twitter : @biggatomas


Davis Museum


Davis Lisboa | Davis Museum | Rose Marie Barrientos | Critical Companies | BTV | Barcelona Televisió from Davis Lisboa on Vimeo.


Visit Site: http://www.davismuseum.com/

Davis Museum | The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, was founded on Facebook in 2009, is the first and unique contemporary art museum created in a ballot box, with its own permanent contemporary art collection. It is also a ready-made sculpture and collective work of art. It is a non-profit artistic project that organizes and produces exhibitions, encourages research and promotes contemporary art exhibitions.




Davis Museum has travelling exhibitions to other cultural centers, museums and institutions, nationally and internationally, while generating debate, thought and reflection. Its mission is the selection, presentation, study, dissemination and preservation of contemporary art by emerging and renowned artists from around the world.




Davis Lisboa (São Paulo, Brazil, 1965), installation view of The Davis Museum’s Polling Station, 2009-2014, plexiglass ballot box, vinyl and mirror; wood pedestal and box; rotating base, catenary and rope; curtain; framed digital print on paper; iPad kiosk; stool; painted wall and stage. Height: 65,75 in (167 cm); width 53,5 in (136 cm); depth 20,86 in (53 cm).

ESOL by Akinlola Yai

Keith, Lippok, Jean-Michel
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KLJM “ESOL” from Joan Guasch on Vimeo.

Born in Ouidah,Benin (West Africa) Akinlola Yai spent his early childhood years migrating back and forth from Benin republic to Nigeria.

Akinlola moved to America at 8yrs old and at the height of the golden year of hiphop…that winter Akinlola immediately immersed himself in American popular culture, music and most specifically hiphop like NWA’s ” straight outta compton” and lyricists like Rakim

Antoine Lefebvre

Antoine Lefebvre is an artist-publisher whose works explore all kinds of printed matter, from lithographs to ‘zines, with a consistent concern for language and its operation.


He founded La Bibliothèque Fantastique in 2009 as a platform for artist books production and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Fine Arts at the Sorbonne, where he received his undergraduate degree. Lefebvre is s currently living and working in New York through an exchange program with New York University’s MFA program.


La Bibliotheque Fantastique

Par Antoine Lefebvre


La Bibliothèque Fantastique is an artist’s books virtual publisher. Our books are free and downloadable from the internet so that you can print them at home. Most of our books are exclusive productions. The others are reeditions of works who are free of any kind of rights. The purpose of LBF is to offer a view on books expressed by books themselves. Its works are made of excerpts of other works, with pages, sentences and words met in a stroke of good fortune.

La Bibliothèque Fantastique is a minimalist publisher in the sense that all the superfluous has been removed. Indeed, the books of LBF have no predetermined physical existence, they exist in a state of potentiality on the web, awaiting to become. They cost nothing, you can get them without spending a penny. They have no ISBN either, because they are works of art. They have no color, so that they can be printed in any printer. That’s what LBF books don’t have, which is almost more important than what they do, because our approach is conceived as a negative of that which is habitually proposed by the market spectacle society. The idea is to show various poetic singularities as opposed to the flashy commodities which our society feeds us.

What the LBF books do have is above all a great freedom of content, revealing a very large and global conception of art. They contain all forms of expression usually found in print, i.e., drawing and photographs, as well as essays, novels, journalistic investigations etc..



The covers of LBF books are invariably appropriated from existing sources, the published artists just select one and use it as a cover for their book. The author’s name is deleted and replaced by the name of the artist, the name of the original publisher is also cleared since the new book is no longer its property. The artist can also change the title of the book to enhance it. The content of the book is completely open, the artist develops it through the pages to meet his or her project. The books are produced with bits and pieces from other books, developing a discourse on the ontology of the book. This project seeks to examine the nature of the book by submitting it to the approaches similar to those used by minimalist artists to test the limits of painting and art. The purpose of LBF is to explore the boundaries of what is a book and and what is not.

La Bibliothèque Fantastique est une structure d’édition de livres d’artistes, dont les livres sont gratuits, sous licence art libre, et téléchargeables sur internet au format pdf, afin que tout le monde puisse les imprimer. La Bibliothèque Fantastique se pose dans une démarche de production d’œuvres d’art. La plupart de ses livres sont des créations originales, les autres sont des rééditions d’œuvres dont les auteurs ont choisi qu’elles soient libres de droits. La Bibliothèque Fantastique propose un discours du livre sur lui-même, ses livres sont faits de morceaux de livres épars, de pages, de phrases, de mots rencontrés par hasard.


Ce projet tire son nom de l’essai de Foucault intitulé La Bibliothèque Fantastique, dans lequel il propose une analyse du travail de Flaubert sur La tentation de Saint Antoine. Foucault entend l’expression « phénomène de bibliothèque », dans le sens où les tentations que subit Saint Antoine font systématiquement référence à des mythes et des mythologies du monde entier. Ce livre est donc réalisé à partir de livres, de mythes et de personnages empruntés, comme le dit Foucault, « tous les autres livres, rêvés, fragmentés, déplacés, combinés, éloignés, mis à distance par le songe, mais par lui aussi rapprochés jusqu’à la satisfaction imaginaire et scintillante du désir » . Flaubert pioche dans sa bibliothèque pour y trouver les mythes et autres histoires avec lesquels il construira les tentations de Saint Antoine, faisant intervenir des personnages connus de tous qui valent également pour la charge culturelle qu’ils représentent.

Ce livre invente son propre genre littéraire, de la même façon dont les artistes du vingtième siècle s’appliqueront à inventer leur propre médium, dans un rapport d’échange entre le fond et la forme. Pour Foucault, La tentation est une œuvre fondatrice, elle rend possible ce qui viendra après, c’est-à-dire l’esprit moderne. « Après, le Livre de Mallarmé deviendra possible, puis Joyce, Roussel, Kafka, Pound, Borges. La bibliothèque est en feu. »

La Bibliothèque Fantastique est une maison d’édition minimaliste dans le sens ou tout le superflu a été retiré. En effet, les livres de LBF n’ont pas d’existence physique prédéterminée, ils vivent à l’état de potentialité sur la toile, en attente de devenir. Ils n’ont pas non plus de prix vous pouvez vous les procurer sans débourser le moindre centime. Ils n’ont pas d’ISBN, car ce sont des œuvres d’art, pas de couleur n’ont plus, pour que l’on puisse les imprimer sur toutes les imprimantes sans exceptions.


Voilà ce que les livres de LBF n’ont pas, ce qui est quasiment plus important que ce qu’ils ont car cette démarche se construit comme un négatif de ce que nous propose habituellement la société spectaculaire marchande, et dans l’idée de montrer des singularités poétiques diverses, à l’opposé du tape-à-l’œil dont la société nous abreuve.
Ce que les livres de LBF ont, c’est avant tout une très grande liberté de contenu révélant une idée de l’art très large et englobante. On pourra donc trouver dans ces livres, toutes les différentes formes d’expression que l’on trouve habituellement dans les supports imprimés, c’est à dire du dessin, ou de la photographie, mais également des essais, des romans, des enquêtes journalistiques, etc.

Les livres de LBF présentent invariablement une couverture détournée de n’importe quel livre préexistant que l’artiste choisie pour en faire la couverture de son livre. Le nom de l’auteur est donc effacé pour être remplacé par le nom de l’artiste, le nom de la maison d’édition originale est également effacé car le nouveau livre ne lui appartient plus. L’artiste peut également modifier le titre du livre pour l’agrémenter à son goût. L’intérieur du livre est totalement libre, et l’artiste y développe à travers les pages un rythme qui sert son propos. Les livres produits sont faits de morceaux de livres, ils développent ainsi un discours sur l’ontologie du livre, ce projet cherche à interroger la nature de l’objet livre en la mettant en danger de la même manière que les artistes minimalistes ont cherchés à tester les limites de la peinture et de l’art, le but de LBF est d’explorer les frontières de ce qui est livre et ce qui ne l’est plus. Les artistes invités par LBF sont donc invités à apporter leur contribution à une réflexion sur le livre, à l’aide de la méthode de Flaubert mise en lumière par Foucault : « Elle ouvre l’espace d’une littérature qui n’existe que dans et par le réseau du déjà écrit : livre où se joue la fiction des livres. »

Tous les livres produits par La Bibliothèque Fantastique sont sous licence artlibre

pour nous contacter:
contact (at) labibliothequefantastique (point) net

JaZoN Frings is,

Jazon Frings is an artist that operates under the identity of the JaZoN Ex. (JZX^), which he is the creator and president.
JZX is a system of notions that express the current state of his life. He uses different mechanisms from the financial world to reinterpret not only the idea of value itself, but how we can create art using it. His work robs the economy of the question thought to be its exclusive domain:
how to interpret value?
He has created financial instruments never before seen that express the diversity of life’s experiences in all their complexity:

monetary systems, stocks, investment funds, bonds, and more.


In turn the concept of finance is re-thought opening greater perspectives than its current status of a playground for a select few.
By putting into place his proper value systems he directly confronts the rational ideas of contemporary economics,
when life’s absurdities become the crucial point for determining value, more doesn’t always have to be better than less.

The aim of JaZoN’s work is to use value as expression,
therefore each of his creations have their own value systems and regulations, plus most function in real time
with an important place for public participation.