Akon lyrics reflect an unusual upbringing plus time in jail for armed robbery and drugs. Akon was born Aliaune Thiam in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in Senegal, Africa until he was 7-years-old, when his family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey. Akon is a practicing Muslim living a polygamist lifestyle with three wives and drives a Lamborghini Gallardo.
In his young life, to date, Akon has spent five years in jail beginning at age 15, in separate convictions for grand theft auto and drug possession. In high school, Akon was known as a “bad boy”, being kicked out for selling guns and the answers to test questions. Akon has stated that he had learned a lot from his time in jail and this time gave him an opportunity to work on his lyrics and music.
On the Trouble album, the song “Locked Up” is autobiographical in the sense that the protagonist gets locked up in jail for car theft and drugs. He’s also trying to convince a lover (or ex-lover) to accept his phone calls because he’s in dire straits.
On the same album, “Lonely” samples Bobby Vinton’s music and lyrics on “Mr. Lonely”. Akon’s lyrics to “Lonely” talk about taking his lover for granted, feeling the deep loneliness without her and wanting to make it up to her. It’s also a cautionary tale to the other brothers in the same situation not to do as the protagonist has done. The song and lyrics were written by Akon and G. Allen and became a worldwide hit in 2005.
On the Konvicted album, the song “Smack That” features fellow rapper Eminem. Some of the Akon lyrics are sexual in nature as in the line, “And possibly bend you over look back and watch me.” The song is also somewhat autobiographical in nature since it mentions the singer’s Lamborghini Gallardo and Akon does own one of these expensive, exotic cars.
The song, “I Want to Love You” is a song about lust originally written by a Florida rapper named Plies. Akon and Snoop Dogg changed some of the lyrics and dropped Plies from the credits due to back publicity that Plies and his band had brought upon themselves. The song lyrics are about the protagonist who notices a dancer at a strip bar and lusts after her as well as wanting to have a relationship with her. The F-word had to be removed from the title of the song and replaced with “Love” so that the single would be more commercially viable.
Akon is up for a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Rap / Sung Collaboration for the song “Smack That”.