16 Songs, 1 Hour 21 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With nearly a decade of experience and hits, there’s little debate surrounding AKA’s consistency and crossover potential. On his fourth album Touch My Blood, he continues to shape South African hip-hop. He displays his bona fide lyricism over the stabbing bass and dramatic percussion of “StarSigns”—where he exhorts his fellow SA rappers to take pride in their African heritage. But he can switch lanes and add soulful pop elements, too, like the Auto-Tuned sonics and synth hooks of “Caiphus Song” and the boogie-funk seduction of “Sweet Fire”.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With nearly a decade of experience and hits, there’s little debate surrounding AKA’s consistency and crossover potential. On his fourth album Touch My Blood, he continues to shape South African hip-hop. He displays his bona fide lyricism over the stabbing bass and dramatic percussion of “StarSigns”—where he exhorts his fellow SA rappers to take pride in their African heritage. But he can switch lanes and add soulful pop elements, too, like the Auto-Tuned sonics and synth hooks of “Caiphus Song” and the boogie-funk seduction of “Sweet Fire”.

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About AKA

You only get to call yourself “Supa Mega” if you’ve earned your stripes—and usually if you also have some scars to show for it. Yet Cape Town-born Kiernan Jarryd Forbes—better known by his stage name, AKA—can rightfully claim such a bold title with authority. Over several years, the hip-hopper, rapper and producer has consistently challenged the status quo, pushing the boundaries of what the world’s biggest genre is capable of achieving. And the results speak for themselves. AKA tore up the charts with his first two albums, and nabbed nominations for multiple Metro FM, Channel O, KORA, BET, MOBO and South African Music Awards (SAMAs). Today he’s cemented a reputation as the go-to guy when international acts tour Mzansi: just ask hip-hop royalty like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross.

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