BigMass of Massdog Music recently put me up on an up-and-coming artist, currently residing in Arizona but originally hailing from Detroit, who goes by the name of Akram Alim. At times sounding like a spiritual successor to J Dilla, as on the excellent "Selflove", Akram infuses his self-produced tracks with a heavy dose of jazz, with his breezy, laid back flow and stream of consciousness lyrics being a refreshing throwback to a time when hip-hop was more pure. Starting with Esham, Detroit hip-hop garnered a reputation for being gritty, raw and abrasive, but Akram comes from a different vein. His music is centered around upliftment and positivity. His lyrics are often reflective; on "Product of My Environment", he touches on his upbringing in Motown; on "Autumn's Reflection" he waxes poetic on his love for the music and his desire to keep his art pure; "The Migration (Black Vinegar)" is a very mature love song, epitomizing what Mass has referred to as "adult contemporary hip-hop." Three of the four songs here are from the as-of-yet unreleased Seasons of Me collection. Check it out!