AKA – Mass Country (Full Album)
Released just two weeks after his death, AKA’s fifth solo studio album, MASS COUNTRY, is equal parts a love letter to the country and the sounds he grew up with, and a cathartic journey through grief, healing and self-rediscovery. An idea that was sparked shortly after the heartbreaking loss of his fiancée, Anele “Nellie” Tembe, who passed away in April 2021, MASS COUNTRY is an offering of love in its many forms: There’s love of country, from an artist often lauded for his pioneering efforts to commercialise South African hip-hop; romantic love, from a man navigating deep loss and finding ways to heal and rebuild; and brotherly love, as an artist who was instrumental in edifying the generations of musicians he inspired, many of whom make appearances on the album.
MASS COUNTRY also cements AKA’s legacy as a producer who used an almost encyclopedic knowledge of South Africa’s most beloved hits to reinterpret them through captivating samples and interpolations. It’s a technique he famously employed on megahits like 2014’s “All Eyes in Me”, where he laid verses from Burna Boy, Da Les and Jr. over a sample of Brenda Fassie’s 1991 hit “Ngiyakusaba” (which interpolates elements from Jomanda’s “Got a Love for You”).
AKA recruited producers Christer, Fdeezus, Oriah, 031Choppa, KDDO, SayFar, Nlcno, Tshepo “Teddy” Moloi and Loud Haileer, alongside co-executive producers Nhlanhla “Nivo” Ndimande, Tshiamo Letshwene and Zādok. “Eighty percent of the album was made deep in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said. “We wanted to get into the soil, into the farms. We wanted to soak up the farm energy. We wouldn’t have been able to get that essence of South Africa and Africa if we don’t have real guitars, real music and real keys. Lots of guitar, lots of, like, South African vibes and African vibes.
Words by Apple Music.
Listen and download ‘Mass Country’ by AKA below.