You only get to call yourself “Supa Mega” if you’ve earned your stripes—and usually if you also have some scars to show for it. Yet Cape Town-born Kiernan Jarryd Forbes—better known by his stage name, AKA—can rightfully claim such a bold title with authority. Over several years, the hip-hopper, rapper and producer has consistently challenged the status quo, pushing the boundaries of what the world’s biggest genre is capable of achieving. And the results speak for themselves. AKA tore up the charts with his first two albums, and nabbed nominations for multiple Metro FM, Channel O, KORA, BET, MOBO and South African Music Awards (SAMAs). Today he’s cemented a reputation as the go-to guy when international acts tour Mzansi: just ask hip-hop royalty like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross.