Fly Anakin

Atlanta, GA

Raised on a steady diet of Ready To Die and Supreme Clientele, equipped with a penchant for dizzying internal rhyme, and damn near impossible to outrap, 27-year-old Richmond, VA artist Fly Anakin has established himself as one of the country’s most essential rappers dedicated to transmuting the rugged spirit of ‘90s New York and sending it spinning into the future. He is linchpin of Richmond’s rap community and the co-founder of the Richmond-based rap collective Mutant Academy. Since 2015, he has released over 25 projects, including many with his inner circle of rap friends, including Tuamie, Ohbliv, Big Kahuna OG, Koncept Jack$on, Henny L.O., and Birmingham hero Pink Siifu. In this span, Anakin has placed collaboration at the core of his artistic identity, and he’s honed his sharp, observational, and sometimes surreal manner and the bulletproof sneer with which he delivers it. All the while, he’s maintained a DIY ethos, recording an estimated 95% of his music at home. His wizardry has garnered extensive praise from Pitchfork, which wrote, “Fly Anakin is a marvel to behold, the kind of lightning-in-a-bottle technician who makes you drop what you’re doing to better absorb his enunciation, syllable placement, and superhuman breath control.” Fly Anakin has been rapping for nearly two decades and it shows—but his prime has only just begun. Born Frank Walton, Anakin grew up in challenging circumstances, in a household defined by crack cocaine addiction and distribution. He found an escape and a calling in music, and he laid down his first verse at age 9, inspired by his brother, a local rapper who helped him develop a taste for Ghostface Killah and Curren$y. He released his first mixtape at age 14 and founded Mutant Academy with Henny L.O. shortly thereafter. In the months after his high school graduation, he “rapped the whole time,” producing multiple mixtapes and setting the stage for his prolific decade to come. Fly Anakin is set to release his forthcoming album Frank in Spring 2022 via the British independent label Lex Records. The project marks a new chapter in Anakin’s artistic trajectory. It includes a wider array of collaborators, including Madlib, with whom he has another joint project in the works. He folds in melodies for the first time, inspired by his fondness of R&B, which he first cultivated on childhood Sundays when his dad would blast Marvin Gaye, Lenny Williams, and Luther Vandross. And he continues to experiment with form, having mastered hook-less 1- to 2-minute songs by his 2020 album At The End Of The Day. There are few other artists today who are shaping rap’s leading edge while remaining steeped in the genre’s traditions.
Fly Anakin