AKA’s legacy has been cemented by his latest album, Mass Country.
The album is a remarkable blend of musical influences infused with powerful lyrics.
The album’s opening track, “Last Time” is inspirational and also Prophetic in light of AKA’s murder in the weeks following up to Mass Country’s release.
It also sets the tone for Mass Country‘s introspective ambience.
Whilst AKA doesn’t disappoint on the braggadocious Raps on tracks like “Mbuzi” (G.O.A.T.) with its hard-hitting beat coupled with AKA and Thato Saul’s flows which are both impeccable, Mass Country is more a reflection of AKA’s growth both as an Artist and as a Man largely because of its introspective tone.
So while Mass Country has some upbeat tracks like the Platinum single Lemons (Lemonade) Featuring Nasty C, there are lots of moments of introspection and vulnerability on Mass Country.
“Anxiety” is a standout example of this, which has AKA ruminating on the dynamics of his stormy marriage to Anele Tembe who died when she fell from the 10th floor of a Cape Town Hotel after arguing with AKA.
The beat is subdued with a genuine melancholy feel while AKA’s delivery is raw and emotional, at the same time his lyrics are deeply personal.
It’s a powerful track that showcases AKA’s depth as an Artist.
For me personally, the best track on the album is “Everest.”
The song is a reflection on the ups and downs of life, with AKA reminiscing on the challenges he’s faced in the wake of Anele’s death, and the resilience he’s developed as a result.
What makes “Everest” so powerful is the raw emotion that AKA brings to the track. His delivery is intense and heartfelt, conveying a sense of vulnerability and honesty.
“Everest” is both introspective and relatable, with AKA delving into his personal struggles while also speaking to the universal experiences of pain and resilience. AKA speaks strongly to the idea that our struggles can make us stronger, and that we can find hope and strength even in our darkest moments.
Before “Everest”, Mass Country’s potency is already evident when Ámapiano featuring Laylizzy & Wearthrd followed by Dangerous featuring Blxckie & Nadia Nakai, AKA’s Partner at the time of his death drop.
Overall, Mass Country is a remarkable album that showcases AKA’s talent and versatility as an Artist.
Whether he’s delivering hard-hitting rhymes over pulsating beats or reflecting on his own life experiences, AKA brings an intensity and honesty to his music that is truly captivating.
One of the strengths of the album is the way that AKA blends his hip hop influences with African rhythms and melodies including Afrobeats and Amapiano giving the Album a very contemporary feel.
Tracks like “Sponono” and “Paradise,” are infused with traditional African percussion and instrumentation, creating a unique and powerful sound that’s unlike anything else in hip hop.
Another standout aspect of the album is AKA’s lyrical ability. He’s able to convey complex emotions and ideas with a few well-chosen words, and his rhymes are often packed with clever wordplay and cultural references.
In terms of weaknesses, the only problem is that the album ends, a problem easily fixed by putting it on repeat.
To me, Mass Country stands out as an instant classic, and has entered my Top 10 List of Hip Hop albums.
Mass Country is definitely my best African Hip Hop album.
AKA’s latest album also provides a Blueprint for the future sound of both South African Hip Hop and contemporary African music as it takes over the world stage with the rise of Amapiano and Afrobeats which will both benefit whenever Artists choose to take inspiration from Mass Country.
Something which AKA probably intended taking into account the controversial Tweet he made claiming the title Best South African Hip Hop Producer.
Part of Mass Country’s appeal is the sincere effort AKA makes at broadening the sonic range of not just South African Hip Hop music, but African music in general.
AKA’s sonic range is on display on the Bonus track ”Army” where he samples Status Quo’s 1990s classic In the Army Now.
The same goes for Lemonade which samples the 1990s dance classic by Stardust Music Sounds Better With You.
These are all timeless songs in world music which AKA used aptly to create a timeless African Hip Hop album whose sonic breadth remains unparalleled.
Production is top notch, and all the guest features add value and variety putting me onto a new wave of outstanding African Artists, the same way he put me onto Burna Boy on his sophomore effort, Levels.
The result is a “mood album” that you can leave on repeat all day without skipping a single song which is a progression from AKA’s previous efforts including his last Album “Touch My Blood” featuring the massive hit Fela In Versace.
Go well, Son of the Soil.