Rising to The Top: A Short Biography of South African Rapper AKA

Biography of South African Rapper AKA

Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, professionally known as AKA, was a South African rapper, songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and businessman. He died on February 10, 2023, from multiple gunshot wounds following a drive-by shooting along Florida Road, Durban. He is survived by his daughter Kairo Owethu Forbes and other members of the Forbes family.

AKA was born on January 28, 1988, in Cape Town, South Africa, and grew up in the suburbs of Mitchells Plain and Bishop Lavis. He is one of the most influential and successful musicians in South Africa, and is widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest rappers.

His musical journey began at a young age when he was part of a rap group called Entity. He was just 14 years old when he started writing and recording music, and it was evident from an early age that he had a natural talent for rap. He released his first solo mixtape, “Altar Ego,” in 2011, and it received widespread recognition for its innovative style and thought-provoking lyrics.

In 2012, AKA released his debut studio album, “Altitude,” which was a commercial and critical success. The album featured hit singles such as “Victory Lap” and “Jealousy,” which helped solidify his position as one of South Africa’s leading rappers. Over the next few years, AKA continued to release successful albums and singles, collaborating with some of the biggest names in the South African music industry.


AKA’s rise to fame can be attributed to several factors, including his unique style of rap and his ability to tackle controversial and socially relevant issues in his lyrics. He is known for addressing topics such as poverty, inequality, and corruption in his music, which has endeared him to fans who appreciate his honesty and integrity. He has also been praised for his versatility as an artist, as he is able to switch between different styles and genres with ease.

One of AKA’s most significant breakthroughs came in 2015 when he released the hit single “All Eyes on Me.” The song quickly became one of the most popular songs in South Africa, and helped AKA win several awards, including the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards for Best Collaboration. He followed up this success with the release of his second studio album, “Levels,” which was another commercial and critical success.

In addition to his music, AKA is also known for his charitable work and activism. He is a strong advocate for social justice and has been involved in various charitable initiatives, including the AKA Foundation, which provides assistance to underprivileged communities in South Africa.

AKA and Daughter
Forbes and Daughter

AKA has received numerous accolades and awards throughout his career, including multiple South African Hip Hop Awards, South African Music Awards, and Channel O Music Video Awards. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers in African history.

In conclusion, AKA was a talented and versatile rapper, songwriter, and record producer who made a significant impact on the South African and African music industry. With his unique style of rap, thought-provoking lyrics, and charitable activism, he was one of the continent’s most respected and influential musicians.

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