There’s Forgot About Fridays…….
……and then there’s Forgot About Fridays where you’re just like…da f@ck happened to them??
Case in rest in music career peace point, former Lady Gaga bestie/Billboard chart owning music producer and superstar…Akon.
Da f@ck is right…where ya been, Mr. Konvinct? Right here in our music memories for life, of course. Let’s puff-and-reminisce.
Basically unless you lived under a music rock in the mid-’00s, you indeed (and boy,did we) know that Mr. Akon shook everything he touched from the radio to the charts to our Konvicted lives. Really, if you think about it, there definitely wasn’t a song ruling the airwaves back then that wasn’t one of his signature sonnets (“Locked Up” 4 lyfe), a track he was featured on, or one he had a producer’s hat in. In music fact, during his ’05-’09-ish global reign, Akon had appeared on more than three-dozen of his own werks (and gurl, did we), and close to eighty alongside another music artists.
So, really, that’s why it’s so crazy to think that the name and smack, err, bounce of “Akon” is no longer a force to be f@cked with on the charts. See? Da f@ck, right?
Born in St. Louis, singer, songwriter, and producer Aliaune Thiam — aka Akon — grew up in Senegal before he and his family returned to the U.S. and settled in New Jersey when he was seven. Once a bit older, the future spitster sort of (okay, he did) got mixed up with the wrong crowd and in turn, a late teens Akon fell into a life of crime, which led him to serve a three-year sentence–allegedly for stealing a BMW and gun possession.
While he was, um, locked up, Akon began to work on some musical ideas and styles. Pending his release, the future crooner began writing and recording tracks and demos in a home studio. Eventually, the tapes found their way to a SRC/Universal Records head,which would become home to Akon‘s massively successful debut set, Trouble.
A daring, bold mix of hip-hop and R&B, Akon‘s freshman effort took off right away thanks to his silky, interesting (??) vocals on top of beats that basically were the straight up shit at the time. Think about it, how many lead singles like “Locked Up” have there been since 2004? Absolutely none as it’s still that down-the-river anthem, brah.
Also gaining steam at the time was the rapper’s ability to hold it down a plum “featuring” spot and soon after Akon appeared on Young Jeezy‘s smash romp, “Soul Survivor,” his number of guest appearances really seemed to multiply with each given music month.
When his second album, Konvicted hit headphones, dance floors and bedrooms around that ass in November 2006, Akon was without a doubt a certified A-List music supreme being whose singles, “I Wanna Love You,” “Don’t Matter” and “Smack That,” bulldozed their way to the upper regions of the Billboard charts while carving own a place in life loving history…cause we still love all of those hits.
Akon‘s third 2008 album, Freedom saw a departure from rap and hip into a more fist pumping manor with “Right Now (Na Na Na),” and his David Guetta collaboration, “Sexy Bitch” a bit later on as both of their beats bulldozed both the mainstream and dance music charts. How many of you out there just simply remember going’ all sorts of ape shit whenever you would hear “Sexy Bitch” on a Saturday night out with the crew. Everyone. Isn’t that right, Mom?
Closing out the ’00s, the “I Wanna Love You” baller kept those konvicted kollaborations comin’ with SNL‘s Lonely Island on “I Just Had Sex,” Madge on “Celebration,” and of course, Ms. Gwen Stefani on “The Sweet Escape.” Let’s also take a few sips to the fact that he linked up with our dearly departed Whitney Houston for her 2009 set, I Look To You, on the tender, “Like I Never Left,” and also alongside the beloved, Michael Jackson on “Hold My Hand,” as the two were best buds inside and out of the music studio. Yes, Akon, yes.
But, if there’s one Forgot About Friday nugget of music truth we must steep our Konvicted tea for….it’s the fact that people seem to really, really forget that Akon had a certain involvement in putting Lady Gaga on the music map. Back when Ms. Germanotta was a disco-stick-wielding club diva in NYC, Akon and his producer pal, Red One, were smitten with her talents and linked up with the future Best Actress nominee to pen her a little soon-to-be gigantic anthem called, “Just Dance,” which as we all know was the one that started it all for our Lady.
Although there’s no denying that his career isn’t as fiery as it used to be, Akon has not only done permanent music history damage to the Billboard charts, but his personal production prowess for so many other music artists out there will always smack for itself.
Yes, even you, for a little while, Mr. O’Donis.
But never fear, Akon certainly isn’t broke at all from all of his outstanding booty shakin’ werk and has continued to serve us even up until now with more recent singles “Want Some” and “Good Girls Lie.” And if you’re in the mood to get down with a little underrated Akon truth, check his would be fourth album, Stadium‘ lead single, “Nosy Neighbour” below.
But then again, hardcore fans of Akon already know this one because we’re all still living that Konvicted life…and it’s a grand life we shall never, ever forget. Now, let’s dance for the music memories…always.
Cover photo courtesy Of Irish Examiner