Akon interview-some real deep sh*t........

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 11 years ago '05        #1
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GROUCHCARTEL 97 heat pts97
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Akon interview-some real deep sh*t........
 

 
I aint know about all this sh*t as far as Akon and his upbringing and life......real sh*t said here....prop the kid.......1

Akon - Native Son
Monday - February 5, 2007

Trouble always seems to follow Aliaune Akon Thiam. Despite turning his life around after serving three years for armed robbery, the Senegalese singer finds himself on trial yet again. He’s not being prosecuted for any criminal offense this time; the ex-con is being tried in the court of public opinion for the practice of his beliefs.

By now most have heard about Akon’s intriguing radio interview regarding the dynamics of polygamy. On September 28, 2006, the singer was in New York promoting his sophomore LP, Konvicted, and appeared on Hot 97 FM’s “The Angie Martinez Show.” During a commercial break, Akon noticed a how-to book on cheating on women and getting away with it. The paperback sparked a light-hearted conversation about relationships and fidelity. But, what started as a playful discussion on the do’s and don’ts of dating quickly turned into a confessional that made for great radio. “I’m on the polygamy side,” he said. “I can afford to have as many wives as I can afford to have. Whether I choose to have them is my choice.”

As part of his particular sect of the Muslim faith, Akon is allowed to have several wives. He casually admitted to participating in “multi-monogamous” relationships on air The hook maestro also revealed that he was raised in a polygamist household and that his father, famed jazz percussionist Mor Thiam, is married to four women—all of whom Akon considers his mothers—and has produced 19 children. If that wasn’t stunning enough, he went on to say, “All Africans are polygamists.”

Akon’s confession sent shockwaves throughout the hip-hop industry. Phone calls to the station were non-stop and interview requests became overwhelming. While most in the public eye might stay mum about the shunned practice, the outspoken soulster doesn’t see self-censorship as an option.

“I really don’t bite my tongue for anybody,” Akon says firmly, a week after his on-air declaration. “I always felt like if you’re going to be real, you got to be truthful all the way across the board.”

In retrospect, though, Akon now wishes he could retract his statements. In the time that has passed, he has been widely criticized for his impulsive comments. In fact, one listener wrote on Racialicious.com, “Akon is just getting publicity for himself by bringing up the practice of polygamy. In this American hip-hop culture, the pimp and player character are very prevalent and accepted. So, this is another way for Akon to display from his roots ‘the player’ and his original pimpology as an African.”

Styles P, a close friend and featured guest on Konvicted, defends Akon’s position. “What gives someone the right to criticize another man’s beliefs and culture? That’s his country. That’s his culture,” says Styles. “How could you criticize what a person does in their country? That’s ignorant!”

“[Being in jail] was the loneliest part of my life. It ain’t about the facility at that point, it’s about freedom. It was too much. I was like, ‘This is not the life I want to live and if I get out, I ain’t never coming back.’”

Akon is resting comfortably on a black leather couch in SRC/Universal Records’ Manhattan office. Dressed in a V-neck white tee, designer blue jeans, white kicks and his signature Konvict diamond encrusted pendant adorning his neck, he is visibly exhausted from the day’s continuous media onslaught. The repetitiveness of the interviews and constant rehashing of his on-air comments has completely drained the soul singer. Just as he prepares for the last interview of the evening, Akon receives word that he can no longer speak on the controversial topic of polygamy.

“They shut it down today,” he reluctantly reveals. “I would love to attack [the subject]. That’s why we started it in the first place. [But] I can’t talk about it anymore because it’s starting to affect other people’s lives now.”

According to reports, Akon’s remarks caused a backlash that resulted in death threats to some polygamists’ homes. A few days after his admission, Akon himself received calls from Muslim “higher powers”—fellow polygamists—urging him to discontinue conversations on the practice. The order not only came from the Muslim community, but from elders of the Jewish sector. They allegedly told the impulsive star that they couldn’t control what he said on the road, but advised him to be mindful of his decisions and how his choices may affect the welfare of others. Out of respect for these “higher powers,” Akon agreed to comply with their counsel.

“It got to a point where my coming out like that ended up being a mistake,” Akon told Vibe.com. “People were about to get locked up over stuff like this.”

“I grew up wanting to be rich and famous. If I could just stop right now I probably would, but think about all the people you’re feeding, and all the people that are depending on you to take care of their family; I just can’t stop now!”

In 1968, Akon’s father was brought to the US by dance legend Katherine Dunham. Wanting his children to have citizenship to avoid travel complications to and from their homeland of Senegal, Mr. Thiam made sure his four sons—Akon, Mohammed, Omar and Abou—were born in St. Louis while his daughter, Khady, was born in Miami. Due to Mr. Thiam’s music career, moving around was very common for Akon and his siblings, who lived in St. Louis, Chicago and Miami before settling in Jersey City, NJ in the early ’90s.

In 1993, during his sophomore year of high school, Akon’s parents had to relocate to Atlanta. Mr. Thiam didn’t want his two oldest sons to suffer from yet another move, so Akon and Mohammad were left in Jersey to finish high school. “When my parents moved to Atlanta, me and my older brother had a whole three-story house to ourselves,” recalls Akon. “I was everywhere. I had too much freedom.”
At the time, Jersey City was notorious for the rampant car thefts that plagued the area. The white picket fences and green lawns of the suburbs didn’t appeal much to Akon, who favored the thrill of fast cars and girls.

“I always hung out in the ’hood because that’s where the excitement was,” he explains. “That’s where I felt comfortable. The ’burbs was always quiet. You make a little bit of noise, the cops come for noise reduction. I just couldn’t take it.”

Focusing on extracurricular activities—both good and bad, Akon excelled in basketball. The star athlete averaged 25 points per game his senior year at d*ckinson High School and earned a full athletic scholarship to Georgia Tech. Unfortunately, the allure of the streets cost him his hoop dreams. After a random locker search turned up guns, knives and test answers, Akon was expelled from school. The dismissal also cost him his scholarship and banned him from competing in NCAA Division I Basketball.

“I was trying to get rich quick,” Akon admits regretfully. “I didn’t care how I did it, as long as I knew I was on the road to getting rich, I was happy. We probably had the best upbringing a kid could have and to this day, I still don’t understand what made me stray off to the left. I think it was because it was too good.”

8 comments for "Akon interview-some real deep sh*t........"

 11 years ago '05        #2
GROUCHCARTEL 97 heat pts97 OP
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During the winter of ’96, Akon transferred to neighboring Bayonne High School. With Mr. Thiam keeping tabs on him, Akon earned another basketball scholarship to play for Clark-Atlanta University. Steering clear of trouble for a while, the troubled teenager found an old hobby to occupy his time.

“[Music] was more of a hobby,” Akon confesses. “I didn’t think I was good enough to do it professionally. And I had other things on my mind. I didn’t even know the music business made that kind of money. Believe me, had I known that I would’ve been all over it sooner.”

Although he sites Bob Marley, Steel Pulse and Gregory Isaacs as influences, Akon says his father is his true inspiration. “He’s the only reason why we focused on music in the first place,” he begins. “That’s my best friend. He’s a real wise dude. He always preached patience, like, ‘You gotta be patient. Every decision you make, you don’t have to rush into. Just take your time, it’s gonna come.’”

Akon’s first opportunity to get into music came while in high school. The then aspiring beatsmith landed a part-time gig at a barbershop in Newark, NJ where he met an equally unknown MC/songwriter/producer named Wyclef Jean. After hitting it off, Akon joined Clef’s Refugee Camp collective and began to hone his production skills at the legendary Booga Basement Studios. Still, Akon lacked the patience his father tried to instill in him and fell back into the streets.

“I wasn’t really focused but I was always a part of [the music scene],” he says. “It was almost a university for me. We were all being schooled by the business. Clef saw it in me, but he was just afraid I was going to get caught up in something stupid. He used to say, ‘You know, Kon, you gotta slow down. You gotta slow down.’”

“I thought [Akon] had so much potential,” Wyclef confirms via phone. “I was almost finished wrapping up [The Fugees’ sophomore LP] The Score and I was like the album can’t go without me at least putting on a hook from this dude. Then we recorded the remix to ‘Fu-Gee-La.’ If you pick up the album you can actually hear him singing on it.”

By the fall of ’96 Akon pushed music to the backseat and joined his parents in ATL to play ball at Clark. But a freshman year knee injury deterred his commitment to school and he stopped going altogether. The college dropout soon returned to his old tricks, and introduced his Jersey City-based grand theft auto ring to the burgeoning Atlanta community. “I was always caught in something,” he says. “I don’t know what it was, but trouble always followed me.”

That was especially true of the next few years of Akon’s life. Due to his constant run-ins with the law, Atlanta’s correctional facilities became a second home for the misguided youth, but serving two-to-six-month bids was nothing for him.

“It was like a smack on the hand,” Akon says of his first jail stint. “The first time I ever saw a jail is when my uncle got locked up in Africa. You have 15 to 16 people in an 8x8 cell where there’s a little hole you pee and sh*t in. The inmates sleep on the floor and if the hole overflows, the weakest person is sleeping either on top or next to it. So, when I got locked the first time and saw they had TVs, pillows, blankets, games and three meals, I was like this a hotel. [I thought] this is nothing!”

Despite his cavalier attitude, Akon soon realized he was missing out on a lot. While he was incarcerated, The Fugees were selling millions of copies of The Score and racking up two Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group. The real wakeup call came in 2000, when Akon was sentenced to a minimum of three years for armed robbery.

“That was the loneliest part of my life,” he says. “It ain’t about the facility at that point, it’s about freedom. You start missing your family. Your self-esteem starts going down. It was too much. I was like, ‘This is not the life I want to live and if I get out, I ain’t never coming back.’”

“I always want to put myself in a position where my family feels comfortable about my career. I want to keep them clear from danger. They won’t ever be placed in a position where they have to experience what I’ve experienced on my own.”

To say Akon has made the most of his freedom since his release in 2003 would be an understatement. A matter of months after completing his sentence, the refocused singer landed a deal with Steve Rifkind’s SRC imprint. The success of his debut single “Locked Up,” which he penned while incarcerated, launched Akon from ex-con to international superstar overnight. His accompanying album, the aptly titled Trouble, went on to go platinum.

In 2005, the singer returned to his native Senegal and received a hero’s welcome. Between 40,000 to 50,000 of his countrymen ushered Akon to a reception fit for a king. Appointed the Ambassador of Youth by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Akon is making the most of his second chance by giving back. He created Kon’s Kids of the Continent, a non-profit organization that donates money for computers, rebuilds hospitals and organizes annual concerts.

“Akon works real hard,” says Styles P. “He’s a humble brother that does a lot. As his world gets bigger and bigger, I see him going real far.”
Recently, Akon further upped his industry stock when he signed a distribution deal for his Konvict Muzik imprint with Interscope Records. With a roster of talent that includes T-Pain, Kardinal Offishall and former TLC member Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, it appears that the once wayward teen has finally achieved his dream of fame and fortune.

“I grew up wanting to be rich and famous,” Akon explains. “If I could just stop right now I probably would, but it’s no different than that other game that I just left. You’re in so deep. Think about all the people you’re feeding, all the people that’s employed up under you, all the people that are depending on you to take care of their family; I just can’t stop now!”

As the day’s events finally come to a close, Akon stretches his legs and gives a sigh of relief. Before departing, he reneges a bit on his polygamist declaration, reaffirming the fact that he loves his “wife” Tomeka and their three sons, Lil’ Ali, Mohammed and Jah Jah.

“I’ve been very happily married,” Akon proudly states. “I always want to put myself in a position where my family feels comfortable about my career. I want to keep them clear from danger. They won’t ever be placed in a position where they have to experience what I’ve experienced on my own. My family has always been there for me since day one and I’m going to always be there for them.”
 11 years ago '05        #3
GROUCHCARTEL 97 heat pts97 OP
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Bump...........
 02-05-2007, 09:32 PM         #4
KJ Rulz 
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Damn, this shouldn't even need to be bumped. I read it all pretty much skimming through some of it. That's pretty amazing. I've been through some ridiculous sh*t and I've heard even more krazy sh*t, but this life he's led is a compilation of alot of lives I've heard of. Got a whole new respect for the man now.


good read, and btw, that bi*ch in ur avy is blaze...
 11 years ago '05        #5
Bay.Area.Boi. 
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props man this article shouldn't be slept on
 02-06-2007, 04:41 PM         #6
thesequel 
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Props, real interesting stuff.
 11 years ago '06        #7
Storchaveli 94 heat pts94
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Props... good read. Akon a BALLER!! :applause:
 11 years ago '04        #8
Turtle 2099 
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Thanks for posting this, Akon is a great artist. He did have a troubling upbringing and it seems like he's ready to leave that life behind him. I'm glad that he chose to stay fouced in the music industry.
 02-06-2007, 05:06 PM         #9
EXODUS DIED 
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interesting i love akon

i wish i can be one of his wives lol.
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