By Jason Kreloff
Happiest People in the World Wide Web (2019) is Adé Hakim’s second full-length record following his 2018 On To Better Things. The album features short, concise songs with bulletproof songwriting, addictive beats which twist old melodies into completely new textures, and lyrics that stay with you.
Hakim is a producer and rapper from the Bronx, New York with a musical style and positive message exclusive to him and his frequent collaborators. Also known as sixpress (or 6press), Hakim has his own distinct production style which involves glitchy and rich soul and jazz samples — a cornerstone of the new wave of rap coming out of the New York City area.
By the age of 21, Hakim had worked as a producer for Earl Sweatshirt and such members of the sLUms collective as MIKE and Medhane.
The lyrics contain many positive affirmations which can inspire listeners. With its Slick Rick-inspired refrain, “hey young world, the world is yours,” and beautiful saxophone embellishments, songs like the title track are just so sunny and bright that they make you smile.
The range of content approached and moods conveyed are balanced. The record tackles a multitude of themes, including finding maturity as a young person, self-evolution, chasing your dreams, challenges of mental health, toxic life cycles, love, self-hatred, and dealing with the implications of poverty. It also engages in critical social commentary such as the lingering effects of slavery in America and the failures of the current political system. The record is full of pain, but ultimately concludes that happiness can be achieved by anyone in this lifetime if they truly put their mind to it.
“Let Me Know” featuring Goya Gumbani, is an introspective track about the path on which Hakim currently finds himself. The beat features a somber, chopped and screwed soul sample, with high quality boom-bap drums sidechained to the mix. Gumbani opens the song with smooth raps about not losing his way. Then Hakim spits some uplifting bars about never giving up, his commitment to his craft and individual life purpose, and his elite position in the renaissance of rap music.
Other songs increase the size of the canvas on which Hakim paints his life, neighborhood, and message for his audience. Songs like “What Can They Really Do,” “Well Rounded” (featuring Camden Malik), and “Hey Lady” all contain inspirational qualities, whether in their confident euphoria or their love and appreciation for friends and loved ones. Finally, “Along the Hudson” describes what an average Bronx day looks like for Hakim.
There are many more tracks which deserve to be mentioned, however, if you want to support Adé Hakim, you can purchase his two albums here, or listen to his music on streaming services.