Akon: Konvict yesterday, totally skeezy cultural entrepreneur today.
If you didn’t already know, Akon is a Senegalese American hip-hop artist, songwriter, producer and businessman. Earlier, whilse stumbling out of my Facebook vs Twitter online consumption continuum, I found myself on his Wikipedia page. And, though I don’t know everything about every single recording artist in the world, I feel confident in saying that he has had the most ludicrous career of any R&B artist. Ever.
Since this is the internet and people no longer want to read anything that isn't comprehensively organised, I’ve compiled a list of his career highlights.
AKON HAS SUNG SONGS IN OTHER LANGUAGES INCLUDING SPANISH AND HINDI
I thought that The Beatles were the only English-speaking act that had recorded songs in other languages until about five minutes ago when I found out that Akon has recorded songs in both Spanish and Hindi. This puts him on the same linguistic plane as Paul, John, George and Ringo.
The lyrics to his Hindi track, “Chammak Challo” go as follows:
“Kaisa sharmaana aaja nachke dikha de / Aa meri hole aaja parda gira de / Aa meri akhiyon se akhiyaan mila de / Aa tu na nakhre dikha / Wanna be my chammak challo?”
Which translates roughly as:
“Don’t be shy, show me your moves / Get close to me, let down your guard / Lock eyes with me / C’mon, don’t show me attitude”
Thankfully, even with the switch in tongues, Akon’s artistic integrity of wanting to bed girls is still intact. A true musketeer for non-English speaking music lovers who probably get fucked off having to listen to lyrics that they don’t understand.
AKON IS THE #1 SELLING ARTIST FOR RINGTONES IN THE WORLD
Back in the day, polyphonic ringtones were big in the telecommunications game. If you didn’t have something like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony bumping from behind your customized fascia, then you were dead to the world. Akon is the Tony Montana of ringtones and he should be proud. I mean, a Grammy award is nothing more than a piece of scrap metal shitted out by record execs, when your track frequents more Nokia 3410s than the Crazy Frog, right?
NELLY, PHARRELL, T-PAIN AND AKON FORMED A SUPERGROUP
Unfortunately, they never released any material which is a shame because this R&B supergroup could really have been a kick in the balls to Kanye and Jay-Z's weirdly named "The Throne."
AKON IS BIG IN THE K-POP SCENE
Oh, Akon, you culture vulture, you!
AKON HAS A REALITY TV SERIES IN THE WORKS
“It will be called My Brother’s Keeper and the point is that Akon’s two nearly identical brothers will go around in Atlanta posing as him fooling people into thinking that it is in fact Akon.”
“They will try to get VIP treatment, girls and free things.”
Since Akon has based his whole career upon terribly amazing crescendos, I guess he’s decided to delve into the TV route with the same rhetoric. Based upon the pitch, the show writes itself. You’ve haven’t got Akon, but you’ve got his two brothers pretending to be him and the documentation of their quest for “free things”. What could be more entertaining? Akon, you’re hired. I’ll pay you in ringtones to pitch all my articles to Noisey for me from now on.
HE’S DIVING INTO MOVIES TOO
After spending time browsing through the HTML version of Akon’s life, I found that he’s a multimedia chameleon who leaves no stone unturned. Since 2006, he’s been planning a biopic full length based upon his own life. It’s got a killer title—Illegal Alien—so WHY isn’t it out yet?
PROBABLY BECAUSE HE’S BEEN PLAYING WITH HIS SIX CHILDREN
Akon has six children with three different women. Weezy, you mad, bro?
AKON OWNS A DIAMOND MINE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Obviously, providing welfare for six kids has got to be pretty expensive. So, how has Akon combated the expense of child support? He bought a diamond mine in South Africa. He denies the existence of blood diamonds though:
“I don’t believe in conflict diamonds. That’s just a movie. Think about it. Nobody thought or cared about conflict diamonds until ‘Blood Diamond’ was released”
Okay. So, let me just check I’ve got it straight. People have been getting killed for years because Leonardo DiCaprio starred in a fictitious film and they’re all part of a cult like secret cinema fan club, right? Right.
AKON DOESN’T TAKE SHIT
Let’s revert back to the era of minimum megapixel phones (Akon’s fav) and remember the time that he threw a fan off stage.
HE HAS A GAS STATION IN HIS HOUSE
Strangely, this fantastic tidbit isn’t on Wikipedia, but, I’ve had it stored in the fun fact compartment of my brain for years in anticipation of writing this article. Akon has the number-two house on MTV Cribs and alongside his bullshit alligator tank—which doesn’t have an alligator because he, “Hasn’t found the right one yet”—he’s got a personal Chevron gas station. Thanks to copyright, the whole episode isn’t on YouTube but fast forward to 2:29 to check the spot.
So, there we have it. A comprehensive list of Akon’s greatest career highlights.
Yesterday: locked up "konvict." Today: cultural entrepreneur extraordinaire.
Follow Ryan on Twitter - @RyanBassil