Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (28 January 1988 – 10 February 2023), known professionally as AKA, was a South African rapper, record producer and businessman. Born in Cape Town and raised in Johannesburg. He was one of the most popular South African musicians of his era and the greatest selling South African hip hop artist of all-time. So what better way to commemorate his life than to look back at his biggest – and most impactful – hits.
Four: Victory Lap
Forbes gained recognition after releasing his single “Victory Lap” from his debut studio album, Altar Ego (2011). The song was released on the 3rd of December, 2010 and it garnered over 322k views on its official video on YouTube. The song was recorded and Recorded by late Rapper AKA. “Victory Lap” was successful as it topped South African local radio charts.
Three: All Eyes On Me feat. Burna Boy
The summer of 2014 was dominated by “All Eyes on Me” in a way we’d never seen before. The song was released on the 22nd of October,2014, garnering over 8.4M views on its official music video on YouTube. The song featured artists like featuring Burna Boy, Da L.E.S and JR, released as the fifth single from his second studio album Levels. The song is produced by award-winning producer Tweezy. On 30 November 2016, “All Eyes On Me” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa. In 2015, “All Eyes On Me” won the Award for Best African Collaboration.
- “Alter Ego”, The album was certified gold by RiSA for its commercial success and The album won several accolades, including the 2011 Metro FM Awards for Best Hip Hop Album.
- AKA won Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2012 South African Music Awards.
- At 2012 South African Music Awards AKA’s album “Altar Ego” won two awards for Male Artist of the Year and Best Street urban Music Album
- In 2015, “All Eyes On Me” won the Award for Best African Collaboration.
FYI: He is the eldest of two boys he is the older brother of Steffan Forbes. He moved to Johannesburg at a young age and attended St John’s College. In 2002, Forbes, alongside his two friends Vice Versa and Greyhound, formed a hip hop group called Entity which later received a nomination for a KORA Award in the Best African Hip Hop category.
In 2006, Forbes co-founded the production collective The I.V League alongside two other members. The I.V League made production credits for several artists, including Khuli Chana, ProKid and JR.
Forbes began dating producer DJ Zinhle at the end of 2014. The couple have a daughter named Kairo Owethu Forbes, born in 2015.
Two: Lemons (Lemonade) feat. Nasty C
“Lemons (Lemonade)” is a single by South African rappers AKA and Nasty C, released on 16 September 2022 as album’s lead single from his fourth studio album “MASS COUNTRY”. “Lemons (Lemonade)” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA). The official music video garnered over 4.9M views on YouTube.
Death: On 10 February 2023, AKA was scheduled to perform at Yugo nightclub in Durban as part of his birthday celebrations. At around 10 P.M. that night, Forbes and his friends including Tebello Motsoane were standing outside Wish, a restaurant on Florida Road when a hooded gunman ran up to them and shot Forbes in the head, while his accomplice who was standing by Forbes’s car released more shots which killed Motsoane. The two gunmen then fled the scene on foot. Forbes and Motsoane were pronounced dead at the scene.
- Altar Ego (2011)
- Levels (2014)
- Touch My Blood (2018)
- MASS COUNTRY (2023)
- Be Careful What You Wish For (with Anatii) (2017)
- 247/365 E.P (2009)
- Bhovamania (2020)
One: Fela in Versace feat. Kiddominat
“Fela In Versace” from his third studio album “Touch My Blood” became one of the biggest songs of 2018 and was certified multi platinum by RISA. It garnered over 12M views on its official music video on YouTube. Touch My Blood’s sixth single “Fela in Versace” featuring Kiddominant received higher commercial success compared to the other singles. It was Released on 27th of July 2018. It Produced by Kiddominant, Robert “Chuck Davis” Luhanga And Written by Kiernan Forbes, Ayoola Agboola.
The song was received well by the public and became AKA’s hit single to be included on Global Spotify Playlist, It also has spent five consecutive weeks at No.1 on the Metro FM Top 40 Chart including on Ukhozi FM Top 40 Chart. The music video of the song was released on AKA’s VEVO account on September 12, 2018. Since it was released has surpassed over 3 000 000 views.