AKA’s Mass Country is a parting gift to fans and a love letter to South Africa

The album was also featured on a billboard in New York’s Times Square. Picture: Instagram.

The album was also featured on a billboard in New York’s Times Square. Picture: Instagram.

Published Feb 26, 2023


Johannesburg - The release of AKA’s eagerly-awaited album Mass Country has been another painful reminder of how his fans were robbed of his immense talent.

The album was produced and completed before Kiernan “AKA” Forbes was gunned down in Durban on February 10.

Mass Country, which is a parting gift to his fans and a love letter to South Africa, has been received with overwhelming love and appreciation in the past few days.

The album, which was also featured on a billboard in New York’s Times Square, has surpassed 6 million streams on Spotify, and continues to be the subject of discussions on social media.

This billboard has also previously showcased other South African artists like Kabza de Small and Sha Sha, providing a platform to share home-grown talent with international audiences.

His mother, Lynn Forbes, also commented about the album: “Kiernan was so proud of Mass Country. As a family, it was a pleasure to see his music’s evolution over the years. He played us this album over and over again. We’re happy the world finally gets to hear it.”

Renowned rapper Nadia Nakai, who was in a relationship with the esteemed multi-talented musician before his death, also shared how proud she was of his work.

“I can’t believe this is happening without you. I’m so proud of you, baby. You did it,” she shared.

“AKA was one of the few people who could be classified as a South African hip hop megastar, and we are honoured to be able to continue to share his music with his fans, both in South Africa and all over the world,” says Warren Bokwe, Lead Music Strategy and Operations for Spotify sub-Saharan Africa.

Forbes featured local heavyweights including Khuli Chana, Blxckie, Nadia Nakai, Emtee, Yanga Chief and Sjava; there is no mistaking that this one was for his South African fans.

AKA began his music career in high school with the rap trio Entity, alongside Vice Versa and Greyhound.

In 2011, AKA broke onto the music scene as a solo act with his debut album, Altar Ego.

Spotify data tracks his meteoric rise and growing popularity with each new album.

Levels, his sophomore album was able to reach the 1 million stream mark on Spotify in 19 months.

His third studio album, Touch My Blood, released in 2018, raced to a million streams in just 11 months.

The Star

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akadeaths and tributes