SA hip-hop star AKA unveiled his new forthcoming album titled "Touch My Blood" at an exclusive listening session for journalists and a select few from the hip-hop fraternity on Wednesday in Johannesburg.
"I'm a musician"
In what he described as his "most vulnerable" album to date, AKA said he wanted people to "touch his blood" and get closer to his personal life, career and insecurities through his versatile music.
DJ Zinhle, as well as their child Kairo, were in attendance at the event, which also included AKA's mum, making the whole occasion feel like a family affair.
— Nkosinathi Shazi (@NkosinathiShazi) June 13, 2018
HuffPost got a chance to speak with AKA about the album - his third in just four years. Here are some of the standout quotes from the interview
The love, energy appreciation people are showing its like I'm a new artist. I dont take anything for granted, I believe I was born to be on stage and in the studio
"I feel dope, I feel rich and handsome ... I feel grateful ... The love, energy appreciation people are showing it's like I'm a new artist. I don't take anything for granted. I believe I was born to be on stage and in the studio. For people to still show love, it's humbling," he said.
Who's had a 10-year run[in the hip-hop industry]?
When asked about his critics and how he felt when they constantly bashed him for using Auto-Tune, he said,
If you're not doing well then you won't have critics. If you're doing well then you will have critics.
"You can't please everyone," he said. He asked why people don't interrogate renowned hip-hop artists such as Travis Scott and Kanye West as to whether they use Auto-Tune. He said it made him angry when people constantly attacked him for using Auto-Tune when he has used it since his debut album.
"I've always used Auto-Tune, since I started, the point I am trying to make is that you can never please critics and fans. Its f***ng ridiculous."
I'm a musician, I am a hip hop artist, I can be pop artist, I can be a new age kwaito artist. I am whatever you want me to be.
AKA has a total of 17 tracks on his new album. Some of the standout and controversial lyrics from those tracks include,
1. You're going to touch my blood for real
Track: Touch My Blood
In the first track, he sets the scene for the genesis of the album and talks about how he was going to be vulnerable and open up about everything.
2. How you going to be my fiancée, living like Rihanna, thinking you're Beyoncé
This track has stirred up a huge amount of controversy, as AKA takes aim at his previous relationship with A-lister Bonang Matheba.
3. You think I really give a f* about awards
Track: Magriza featuring Kwesta
Here AKA is taking shots at the SA awards industry, most probably the Samas, after he was snubbed time and time again. He feels he has now reached a level where other people's opinions don't matter.
4. How many eras? How many times I invented a whole new style?
In his single "StarSigns", AKA talks about how he has changed his sound and adapted to a fast-changing hip-hop scene, through innovation, and being unafraid to try new things.
5. Beam Group getting bread like Sasko Sam
AKA talks about how he has now become an independent artist and his label/company 'Beam Group' is now making truckloads of money.