Talent, technique, versatility, charisma, attitude, just name it AKA has it all. His music and personality have rocketed him to the top of Africa's Hip Hop where he remained a dominant force until his tragic passing on Friday, 10th February 2023.
AKA: Africa's Hip Hop Enigma
On Friday, February 10, 2023, South African and African music industry lost an enigmatic superstar in the person of Kiernan Jarryd Forbes popularly called AKA.
Since breaking into the mainstream in 2010 with his impressive album 'LEVELS', AKA born Kiernan Forbes would go on to become the poster boy for South African Hip Hop.
A super-talent, AKA had no shortage of ability as he was able to consistently dazzle listeners on his tracks while also taking over the scene whenever he lent his talent to other artists.
For Nigerian fans, many will remember AKA has the light-skinned South African artist who tapped Nigeria's budding star Burna Boy for the award-winning hit song 'All Eyez On Me'.
Some will remember how the words "Lekki-Epe" rolled off his tongue almost comically when he combined forces with Kiddominant for the timeless Hip Hop 'Fela In Versace.'
And others might remember him as the South African artist who complained about how Nigeria's Super Eagles always get the better of South Africa's Bafana Bafana. And how his little tantrum sparked a back-and-forth on Twitter with YCEE and Burna Boy with whom he had infamously fallen out.
For Hip Hop fans on the continent, AKA was the embodiment of a top-class rapper whose music pushed the boundaries of the genre and whose personality was easily reconcilable with great Hip Hop stars that have gone on before him.
An enigma, Kiernan Forbes had many names. He was artistically known as AKA. He took on the flambouyant tag of the Supermega. And his fans fondly call him Bhova.
He was not only one of Africa's finest rappers, but he was also a music producer extraordinaire, a talent he was never humble about. Like a full-blooded Hip Hop star, AKA was also not shy of taking on other rappers and artists.
Like every music enigma, AKA had his demons with which he battled and which never had the better of him.
In a career that has spanned over a decade, AKA delivered 6 albums in which he shared large portions of himself. And he was not done dazzling listeners with his music as he was set to release a new album titled 'Mass Country' in two weeks' time.
On Sunday, 10th February 2023, the Hip Hop world lost a super-talent to a senseless act of violence that has left everyone with their heads hung, staring into space, and asking the universe "Why did it happen?"
Perhaps, it's poetic that he leaves the world exactly 35 years after he came into it. However, his exit leaves a dark spot in the hearts of his family and the African music industry.
Rest in power AKA, the enigma who left an indelible mark on the African music scene.
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