|Studio album by AKA|
|Released||June 30, 2014|
|Label||Vth Season, Sony Music Entertainment Africa|
|Singles from Levels|
Levels (sometimes stylized as LEVELS or LVLS) is the second studio album by South African rapper AKA, released by Vth Season. It is the follow-up to his debut release, Altar Ego. The album was made available a week before its originally announced July 8 release date on June 30, 2014. The album was certified gold on the 17 of June 2015, selling over 20 000 copies almost 11 months after its release.
The album's release was preceded by the singles "Jealousy", "Kontrol", "Congratulate" and "Run Jozi (Godly)" which features K.O of Teargas. Originally slated for physical release on July 8, 2014, the hard copies of the album were later released on July 28, 2014 due to manufacturing issues. Production was handled by AKA, Ameen, Tazzy from the funk band Muzart, Steve "Sticky" Raphadu, Master A Flat who was also the album's musical director and Vth Season's in-house producer, Tweezy.
The album received generally positive reviews. While some critics complained about the excessive sampling on the album, most praised the album for its production but felt like AKA did not deliver lyrically.
Ayomide Tayo of Nigerian Entertainment Today praised songs such as "Sunshine" and "Congratulate" for their soulful vibes. He also commended AKA for his lyrical content and the direction he took with the production on the album. He ended his review with the closing statement, "AKA has shown that there are levels to this rap thing, and that he is at the highest level. What else would you expect from a king?"
In July 2015, 11 months after the initial release of the album, Levels was certified Gold by the Recording Industry of South Africa, for sales in access of 20,000 copies. As of May 5, 2016, The album was certified Platinum by RiSA for selling over 40,000 units.
Levels has received numerous nominations and has won a respectable number of awards. At the 2014 SA Hip Hop Awards, the album won 4 awards including Best Male, Video of the Year for "Congratulate", and Best Collaboration for "Run Jozi (Godly)". The song "Congratulate" had AKA nominated for 3 awards at the Channel O Africa Music Video Awards including Most Gifted Hip Hop and Most Gifted Video of the Year; he ended winning the former. At the 14th annual Metro FM Music Awards, he received 6 nominations and walked away with Best Collaboration for the song "All Eyes On Me". At the 2015 SAMAs, "Run Jozi (Godly)" was nominated for Best Collaboration, ultimately losing to K.O.'s "Caracara". "Congratulate" was nominated for Kia Record of the Year. The album was also nominated for Best Rap Album; AKA won Best Male Artist.
|1.||"Levels" (performed by Tumi)||T. Molekane, K. Forbes, S. Raphadu, T. Mathebula, M. Shabangu||Sticky, Tweezy[a], Master A Flat[a]||1:08|
|2.||"Sim Dope"||K. Forbes, S. Raphadu, T. Mathebula, M. Shabangu||Tweezy, Sticky[a]||3:54|
|3.||"Run Jozi (Godly)" (featuring K.O)||K. Forbes, N. Mdluli, S. Raphadu, T. Mathebula, M. Shabangu, Y. Ntshakaza||Tweezy, Sticky[a], Master A Flat[a]||3:54|
|4.||"Sunshine" (featuring J'Something & Sarkodie)||K. Forbes, J. Fonseca, M. Addo, S. Raphadu, M. Shabangu, A. Darnell, S. Browder, Jr., S. Mackey||AKA, [a], Master A Flat[a]||4:04|
|5.||"Congratulate"||K. Forbes, T. Lehutso||Tazzy||3:45|
|6.||"All Eyes On Me" (featuring Burna Boy, Da L.E.S & JR)||K. Forbes, D. Ogulu, L. Mampe, T. Bogopa, T. Mathebula||Tweezy||4:18|
|7.||"Daddy Issues"||K. Forbes, A. Harron, M. Shabangu, K. Smoke||Master A Flat, Ameen[a]||4:47|
|8.||"Let Me Show You"||K. Forbes, S. Raphadu, M. Shabangu, Lonnie Simmons, K. Choabi, Charlie Wilson, Johnsye Smith, Ronnie Wilson||Sticky, Master A Flat[a]||3:46|
|9.||"Kontrol" (featuring Da L.E.S)||K. Forbes, L. Mampe, S. Raphadu, M. Shabangu, M. Tulwana||AKA, Sticky[a], Master A Flat[a]||4:20|
|10.||"Pressure" (featuring Reason)||K. Forbes, A. Harron, M. MacInnes, S. Moeketsi||Ameen||3:02|
|11.||"Jealousy"||K. Forbes, Martin Solveig||AKA||2:48|
- ^[b] signifies an additional producer
- Sample credits
- "Congratulate" contains a sample of "Ride" as performed by Harrison Crump.
- "All Eyes On Me" contains a sample of "Ngiyakusaba" as performed and written by Brenda Fassie.
- "Kontrol" contains a sample of "Mawe", performed by DJ Mbuso and Jerah.
- "Pressure" contains a sample of "Drop the Pressure", written by Myles MacInnes, as performed by Mylo.
- "Jealousy" contains a sample of "Jealousy" as performed by Martin Solveig.
|South Africa||June 30, 2014||digital download||Vth Season, Sony Music Entertainment Africa|
|July 28, 2014||CD|
- "AKA releases new album art cover". HYPE. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "[MUSIC]: AKA's "Levels" Album Debuts At #1". Orgella Online. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "AKA releases his album #LEVELS a week before announced date". YoMzansi. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "AKA's #1 SA iTunes Album LEVELS Is Now Available Worldwide". Mizinformed. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "LEVELS HAS GONE GOLD". MTV. 18 June 2015.
- "Rapper AKA already working on his follow up album and they cooking some dope ish!!". SA Hip Hop Mag. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
- "AKA - LEVELS Album Review". AfricanHHB. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "AKA is the king of S.A rap with 'Levels' [Album Review]". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 2 September 2014.