AKA – Levels

The short song “Levels” by the late AKA packs a punch. The calm buzzing of the synths and the slow roll of the drums gives you the feeling of a sweltering summer day. As soon as the first sentence rolls off, “If you tilt your head and squint your eyes, it might come to you, this light shines through you”, there is an instant and easy flow.

“We grew from taxi route to shot left in a jumbo jet
That’s first-class to a higher self, Levels”

AKA loads this song with social commentary on how, in my analysis, depending on your societal “level” there are different economic boundaries. But also how, music for hum, has allowed him to experience or reach an entirely different lifestyle or “level” than the majority of South Africans.

He also talks about how Mandela seemingly “unlocked the gate” but people are still “caged in” and experiencing barriers to entry.

“We don’t pray the devils, we praise ourselves out of shelters”.

This verse can be referring to not putting trust or hope in politicians and government officials that are supposed to fix the poverty and inequality issues rampant in the country and instead relying on the individual to “hustle” to reach a new “level”.

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