On Monday night, I was invited to Matt Hennessy’s VSOP Studios to listen to AK’s (of Do or Die) debut solo album, Picture That, which was presented as a return to that classic Do or Die sound heard on Picture This and Headz or Tailz. Also in attendance were radio renegades Seandale, V-Dub, DJ Slugo, Showtyme and others.
Sometimes I feel like the legacy of Do or Die is criminally overshadowed by other Chicago acts from that era – these guys were true pioneers who spawned gold and platinum albums and singles, and can still tour on “Po Pimp” alone. Picture This was a classic, with Headz or Tailz not far behind. Victory, Back 2 The Game and D.O.D. were also solid efforts. Now, with Belo behind bars for at least a decade, AK and Nard are left to carry on the Do or Die torch without a member that was crucial to the sound and feel of the group.
AK is releasing this album independently through his Roundtable Records, and it appears that last summer’s announcement from Twista and Traxster that Do or Die were signing with GMG and planning to executive produce their next album are no longer valid. As of press time, neither Twista or Traxster have contributed to the project. As much as I (and everyone else) would love to see the band back together again, I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.
With that being said, AK has gone and made a very good solo album on his own. Some of the usual suspects are back on board including Johnny P and Belo (from the bing?), with AK recruiting some of his Westside cronies – Buk (of Psychodrama) and Cold Hard (of Crucial Conflict) to contribute verses and hooks. Picture That is a healthy mix of smoke and ride joints, songs for the ladies and street bangers. The album is about 70% finished, and AK previewed what was completed.
In the clip above, I captured two of the songs that received the biggest response from the crowd – the Chicago ‘street tale’ anthem “Respect” and “Millimeters” featuring Psychodrama’s Buk, which sent the room into a frenzy and had Slugo and V-Dub ready to fight for the right to break the record.
Thanks to AK, L.A., Mary Datcher and Matt Hennessy.
1. Sex Drive feat. Johnny P
2. Down Girl
3. Picture That
4. All Night Long
6. Blow Big
7. Body Talk feat. Belo & Johnny P
8. Walk on Water
9. Hustlers Anthem
10. Get That Money feat. Cold Hard (of Crucial Conflict)
11. Millimeters feat. Buk (of Psychodrama)