Hak Baker Releases Debut Album 'Worlds End FM'

Hak Baker Releases Debut Album 'Worlds End FM'

9th June 2023

Hak Baker’s debut album Worlds End FM is a public broadcast of unity, protest and collective power, released today on Hak Attack Records.

Written through the prism of a pirate radio station when the world is on the brink of collapse (sound familiar?), the East End poet, musician, and spokesman for his community today confirms he is a vital, inimitable voice for those often denied one. Rip it up and start again is Baker’s message.

The end of the world has never sounded so bold, imaginative, and thrillingly full of the glorious, chaotic wonder of life. Interspersed with skits from Connie Constance to Allan Mustafah aka Kurupt FM’s MC Grindah, as well as intimate phone conversations with his brother and best friends, it was Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event that provided the unlikely partial inspiration for a suite of spiky, quintessentially British modern folk songs, and tells you something about the eclectic and unconventional nature of Hak Baker. Even set against Baker’s recent career achievements – co-signs from the likes of Benjamin Zephaniah, Little Simz, Skepta, and Mike Skinner, supporting Pete Doherty at the Royal Albert Hall after performing with him a mosh-swelling version of A Message To You Rudy on the Other Stage at last year’s Glastonbury – it is a gigantic artistic swing that recalls other iconic, high-wire creative accomplishments.

The personal is political, and Worlds End FM stares modern Britain in the eye and says, we can do better by our community.
Worlds End FM is a good lad, m.A.A.d City; or A Grand Don’t Come For Free for the extremely online era.

“I thought it would be a good part of the armoury. I remember loving Busta Rhymes, Method Man and Lauryn Hill albums back in the day – the ones where they had loads of interludes that you wouldn’t skip because they were part of the experience.” Executive produced by Hak and Karma Kid and compiled from two years of prolific sessions with producers including Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey, Shrink and Misfits producer Ali Bla Bla, the record crackles as the genre dial is twiddled from rip-snorting post-punk to lilting roots reggae.

Last month, Hak Baker released DOOLALLY, the half-rapped, funk-tinged plunge into the bleary haze of a triumphantly messy Friday night. Already on the BBC Radio 6 playlist, listeners are thrown into the narrative of Hak’s anarchic mind from pre-drinks to meeting the lads to the underbelly of London nightlife, with an equally beguiling video directed by Hugh Mulhern (Fontaines DC).

Capturing Hak’s raw lyrical style that blends cockney dialect picked up from growing up in the Isle of Dogs, to Jamaican Patois from his mother and grandmother, Hak’s flow developed from his younger years as a Grime MC in B.O.M.B. squad. “We thought we was big, big boys, going to MC at these little clubs in Romford. Don’t forget that Moet cost 30 quid back then so we were having it large”, says Hak, having fallen in love with the guitar when, during his time as an inmate at HMP Portland, he won his first one in a prison raffle.
Telling real stories from the streets of London, Hak introduced us to Worlds End FM with 6 Music A-Listed and Steve Lamacq 10/10 record Telephones 4 Eyes, and children of the Windrush generation chant Windrush Baby.

Telling the story of his Jamaican mother moving to the UK at the young age of 17, and how the children of Windrush have carved out their identity in a country that didn’t feel like their parents’ own, Hak is able to communicate complex subject matter through an uplifting, hook after hook earworm, and reflected on his story in an Independent essay he penned recently. Featuring a voice note from his mother about the “loss of values” within British Black youth whilst addressing Hak, Windrush Baby is a powerful ode to lost souls and his real motherland; Jamaica.

Recorded in The Gatehouse as part of a two-day session with producer Karma Kid, the track is one of four songs Hak wrote during a fast paced, spontaneous and collaborative session, assisted by Abbey Road engineer Gordon Davidson and senior runner Sarah Meyz.

Read the full story and view the picture gallery from the session here.

Hak Baker and Karma Kid on ‘Windrush Baby’

Hak Baker recently supported Pete Doherty at The Royal Albert Hall (The Libertines frontman fell in love with his lyrics after hearing Wobbles and Cobbles) and dedicated Windrush Baby to his mother in the audience, and will perform the track at the Royal Albert Hall again tonight, having been invited by Trevor Nelson for a special Windrush 75 show, alongside Craig David and Beverly Knight.

Already commanding queues around the block at The Great Escape and storming the stage at X The Tracks, the East Ender is set to begin his raucous live shows across the UK for his debut album in-store tour, starting at SOLD-OUT Rough Trade East tonight and culminating at sold-out Crash in Leeds on 14 June. Hak Baker will also join Jamie T at his Finsbury Park headline with Idles and Biig Piig, as he continues to pick up fans spanning culture and genre, from Celeste to Fontaines D.C. to Skepta, Joy Crookes and Reuben Dangoor.

With a story that begins on the Isle of Dogs where his working class community have become his muse and inspired an unconventional, rebellious career, Hak has become one of the most respected and reverent British artists of his generation. This is, after all, a young man who was weaned on Bob Marley, who sang as part of Southwark Cathedral choir even as he came of age amid nicked cars and egged windows in the isolated wilds of E14. Hak’s tales of inner city London life climb a spectrum between youthful nihilism and male vulnerability, to understanding that within the personal lives the political, as Hak paints a picture of a country in turmoil through his poetic lyricism.

Hak released his first single of 2023, the blistering Telephones 4 Eyes, an Orwellian anti-technology protest, with pace and anger that pleads for human connection and condemns the surveillance state. Produced by Dan Carey (Fontaines D.C., Foals, Wet Leg, Bat For Lashes, Bloc Party) with a stirring and disturbing video directed by Hugh Mulhern using AI technology, Telephones 4 Eyes caught the attention of Steve Lamacq at BBC 6 Music, who rated the song 10/10 on his roundtable, with Jon McClure of Reverend And The Makers describing Hak as Baxter Dury really pissed off”. With audiences pleading to see Hak live, Hak will also play his biggest UK and Europe tour, with a headline show at KOKO on 29 September and a run of dates in Germany.
Calling himself the “three island man”, from an early age Hak wanted to express his angst at the inequality he witnessed through poetry. Remembering intimate moments singing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to his mother and excelling in the only thing he knew how to at school - English Language and Literature - Hak started out MC-ing Grime at his local community centre, but felt incredibly moved by alternative music, citing artists such as Terry Callier as profound influences. Hak debuted Conundrum in 2017 on Later…With Jools Holland as an “unsigned” new artist, going against the grain and proof that Hak is a storyteller as much as he is a poet and singer.

With his love of language stemming from a childhood of asking his mother what certain words meant, and being told to “go and look up in the dictionary”, Hak’s style and execution blends a combination of cockney dialect picked up from growing up in the Isle of Dogs, Jamaican Patois from his mother and grandmother and a flow developed from his younger years as a Grime MC. These elements have given Hak the ability to articulate a stream of consciousness with visceral energy, grief, humour and rebellion, with remarkable tracks including 7AM, Thirsty Thursdays and the 5 Million streaming Venezuelan Riddim, which have all become live favourites.

"A brilliant album that considers race, class solidarity – and the odd flirty, boozy night out. Few other British albums this year are as vibrant, and true to life’s contradictions." - Guardian

"A poet for the people. What you see is what you get, whether you like it or not." - Hunger

"Live and direct from the edge of the apocalypse. Introduces Hak Baker as a 21st Century troubadour speaking to modern problems with empathy and requisite anger." - NME

"A remarkable debut" - Rolling Stone UK

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