Watch the journey of what it took to get the All the Way Up Remix music video off the ground! From the makeup to the rooftop! Step into the wonderful world of an Independent artist, Akilah Nehanda!
All The Way Up
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
Erykah Badu’s saying rings pretty true, “The man who knows something, knows that he knows nothing at all”.
Many of us think we know what it takes to be happy. Many of us think that if we had more money, charisma, a nice car, and house we would be living the “All the Way Up” Lifestyle. But, in truth, we’ll never really know if the French Montanas and the Floyd Mayweathers of the world are truly happy and spiritually content with who they are.
Peace of mind and obedience to the Creator are two things that are usually overshadowed by the giltz and glam of material possessions. However, when I first heard the term “All the Way Up” listening to Fat Joe on my radio, my mind immediately thought about the feeling of being high on your own supply- your own supply of greatness, resilience, love, righteousness, knowledge, self confidence, and the list goes on. I used to think as an artist I had to have millions of fans and be traveling all around the world in order to be a “Real” artist who really “Made it”. Of course I’m still capable of doing all of those things and more, however, now I’m learning to feel just as proud of myself when ONE person tells me how my music influenced and inspired them. I can feel just as good when I perform my music for a small classroom at a middle school and see the light flicker in a thirteen year olds eyes when they watch me do my pieces. I’m learning that I don’t have to wait until I get a nice car (that I don’t have to always take to the shop because the engine check light is on. smile.) in order to feel All The Way Up’! Of course I’m going to strive daily to improve my outer conditions but I first must start with my inner conditions- heart, mind, and spirit.
All of my musical projects are professional, high quality, and sound amazing not because I have a lot of money to pay for what it’s worth, but because I felt just as good and excited recording my first mixtape in Zin’s house (May he rest in peace) as I do now in a nice studio, so God opened doors for me that were unheard of. I felt just as grateful on my college campus of Howard University sitting the school camera on a tripod and recording my first music video on the yard as I do now after God led me to an actual company, Shafilms, who now shoots my videos.
I’m learning that I can feel all the way up just thinking about the fact that I woke up this morning and was given another chance at life while many can’t say that. I can feel all the way up eating a good meal with a friend and catching up. What do we really know about happiness if we think that we have to achieve elaborate goals and have these major triumphant moments in order to feel all the way up? Putting out good quality music and visuals is just a way I express my love for God giving me my gift and talent. You have gifts and talents as well that you express or should express in order to show gratitude. There is nothing more fulfilling than doing what you were put on this earth to do.
Minister Louis Farrakhan, a great man and freedom fighter for the oppressed, teaches us that finding and living out your purpose in life is ultimately the key to living the ‘All The Way Up’ lifestyle. It’s the key to an unspeakable joy. When we start to understand that every day, every hour, every second we are presented with an opportunity to live ‘All The Way Up’, then we will stop waiting for worldly symbols of success to get us high on life- because guess what?… All of that material gain is fleeting. However, those “ethereal” traits that we tend to overshadow like good character, humility, courage, and righteousness are the very traits that sustain and serve as a foundation for a true ‘All the Way Up’ life.
I pray that we all start thinking about ways to get closer to this kind of lifestyle, to embrace this lifestyle, and to encourage others to live this lifestyle by being true to themselves, their families, and their communities. We truly can reach unthinkable heights when we start evolving inwardly and enjoying the journey! How high might you ask? I’m talking ALL THE WAY UP!
(Keep up with Akilah Nehanda on Twitter @AkilahNehanda and Instagram @AkilahNehanda. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel. Be on the lookout for the release of her “All The Way Up” Remix video on June 28th)