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South African Rapper AKA is Re-branding to 'King Forbes'

In a series of tweets, the rapper asked his fans to help him decide on his new stage name.

AKA has decided that he's had enough of his current stage name. According to him, he's done pretty much all there can be done in South Africa and now wants to capture the international audience with his music. And so it's goodbye to AKA and hello to King Forbes.


It's no secret that AKA feels like a big fish in a small pond. Whilst many South Africans may chalk it up to the rapper's arrogance, the truth is, the Fela in Versace star has heavily influenced and changed the South African hip-hop game.

South Africans have chided in the past that his Twitter handle (@akaworldwide) was ironic seeing that rappers such as Nasty C, for example, appeared to be making more headway than him internationally especially after rampant rumors that Jay Z's Roc Nation was looking to sign Nasty C.

The beloved Supa Mega as he is known to his fans, reached out on Twitter and asked what they thought would be a fitting new name for him. The options included his real name Kiernan Forbes, Keenan Forbes and of course, King Forbes. One fan commented that King Forbes would be apt seeing as Stogie T even referred to him as that in his epic freestyle for Sway in the Morning.

Take a look at Supa Mega's deliberation on Twitter below.








Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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