Earlier this year hip hop’s finest gathered at the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards for a night that celebrated artists and the culture.
A pre-recorded version of the awards is scheduled to air on BET on Tuesday, October 10.
Amid the unforgettable night of performances and winners was South African rapper, Kiernan “AKA” Forbes, who was honoured posthumously with the prestigious Global Visionary Award.
Last year the inaugural award was given posthumously to rap legend Rikhado “Riky Rick” Makhado.
The award recognises and honours champions of culture, including artists, DJs and music industry professionals who have made groundbreaking efforts to expand the culture of hip hop on a global stage.
It comes as no surprise that AKA received this accolade. After all, he was considered one of the best rappers in the country, and his album, “Mass Country”, which was released after his death, soared to great heights.
Since then he has also won several other awards, with the most recent being at the All Africa Music Awards (Afrimmas) where won the Best Male Southern Africa award earlier this month.
Accepting the BET award was AKA’s parents Lynn and Tony Forbes, who called it a “bittersweet moment”.
“Kiernan lived for music and gave his all to creating a legacy that has outlived him. Thank you BET for bestowing such a rightful honour on Kiernan. He would have accepted this award with pride.
“We are humbled to receive and acknowledge this honour on his behalf, especially for Kairo, who gets to witness her father’s legacy live on.”
Monde Twala, senior vice-president and general manager at Paramount Africa and BET International lead, said AKA’s contribution to hip hop was unmatched.
“Kiernan 'AKA' Forbes was not just a music icon, he was a visionary. BET is proud to celebrate his innovative spirit and unwavering dedication to his craft which left an indelible mark on the world.
“We are honoured to recognise his extraordinary contributions with the Global Visionary Award at the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards. AKA's legacy will forever inspire future generations, reminding us that music transcends borders and has the power to unite us all.”
The late rapper currently leads the South African Music Awards (Samas) pack with seven nods.
He has been voted for his album “Mass Country” in the categories of Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Engineered Album, Best Hip-Hop Album, Best Collaboration and Best Produced Music Video for the single “Lemons (Lemonade)” featuring Nasty C and Best Collaboration for the single, “Company”, featuring Kiddominant.
∎ The BET Hip Hop Awards will air on BET (DStv channel 129) on October 10 at 9pm.