News Brief

AKA’s Latest Song ‘Practice’ Is Straight Raps, No Auto-Tune

It's bars everywhere.

South African rapper AKA has been rapping less and less, in his efforts to become an overall pop star. But his latest song, "Practice," is, for the lack of a better word, raw.


It brings out the aggression of AKA of Altar Ego days. The beat leads with a droning electric guitar, and AKA laces it with battle-ready raps like, "ASAP with the bag, b/ Yeah, I rap, but they pay me like an athlete" and "Keep it sexy, flexy/ But taking it slowly never impress me/ That' why I got the game by the testis/ King Forbes that's how you address me."

The song is essentially an ad for Reebok, which AKA is in a partnership with. But he only namedrops the brand once on the song. The branding is more prevalent in the music video, which shows Supa Mega rapping as he walks in a building and eventually walks out onto the rooftop.

"Practice," will however, not appear on AKA's upcoming album, Touch My Blood, which is out June 15.

Watch the video for "Practice" below, and download the song here.


Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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