The Tragic Death Of Rapper AKA

Rapper AKA — whose real name is Kiernan Forbes — has tragically died, according to a statement released by his parents. According to The New York Times, the South African native was fatally wounded by two armed men outside a restaurant in the coastal city of Durban. E! News reports that the rapper and his friend, Tebello Motsoan, died at the scene. The assailants are reportedly still at large.

AKA's parents — Tony and Lynn Forbes — announced the devastating news on their son's Instagram page. They wrote, "To us, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, most importantly father to his beloved daughter Kairo." They added, "Our son was loved and he gave love in return." The Forbes' expressed gratitude for the love and support they have received in the wake of their son's unexpected death. Now, fans and loved ones are reflecting on the influential rapper's life and career. 

AKA was a leading voice in South African hip-hop

With his unique take on South African genres, AKA was a defining voice in hip-hop. In the early 2000s, the rapper found his footing as part of the group Entity, per People. He drew further recognition with the release of his debut album, "Altar Ego," in 2011. Over the years, AKA captivated music lovers with hits like "All Eyes on Me," "Prada," and "Lemons (Lemonade)." During his decades-long career, the talented rapper, producer, and songwriter scored numerous accolades, including nominations for several BET awards.

On February 11 — one day after AKA's death — fans paid tribute to the 35-year-old by congregating outside the restaurant where he was fatally shot, notes The New York Times. Amid their gathering, tributes have begun pouring in for the beloved star. A statement by South Africa's Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture lauded AKA as being among "the best rappers on the continent." South African music and culture journalist Cedric Dladla commented on his remarkable artistry, noting, "AKA was a person who was an advocate for the South African identity of music. That's what made him stand out, no matter where he went." Before his death, AKA promoted his upcoming album "Mass Country" on Instagram, which is set for release on February 27.