Album Appreciation: Adé Hakim’s “HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WIDE WEB”

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Released in 2019, this album is a soulful take on lo-fi hip-hop from one of the genre’s pioneers. A member of NYC collective sLums and producer with credits all over Earl Sweatshirt’s Some Rap Songs, Hakim is an uber-talented individual with the ability to flip soul and R&B samples into earwormy and uplifting melodies.

Flipping the idea that folks on the internet only show vapid, egocentric happiness, Hakim displays the impact of a positive mindset in light of the harsh conditions of America’s widespread oppressiveness. This mindset shines through his lyrics, but closer listening reveals plenty of optimism in Hakim’s production; choppy beats often give way to some of the most gentle instrumentals on the album (see “Let Me Know”). 

Laments like “gotta pay off expenses to fuckin’ breathe / Middle fingers to you companies” and “the government and n***as ain’t compatible” might lend themselves to a downtrodden attitude, but Hakim uses these statements based on experience to display the strength of his mindset and personality.  

Hakim’s community-based ideals are inspiring and show themselves all over the album, as he’s often rapping about the faith he has in his family and friends. Much of the album’s bars are dedicated to fellow Black and Indigenous folks, as well as anyone that’s been pushed down by the powers of capitalism and imperialism. 

Touching on a range of emotive topics, Adé Hakim created a masterpiece with HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WIDE WEB, a testament to the complexities of his life and identity.
If you’d like to support Hakim in his pursuits, check out his Bandcamp, and show some love on Twitter.

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