Couple of years ago AKON was releasing hit after hit, rising all over the R&B and hip hop charts. Then suddenly he went silent and off the RADAR, Many did wonder what actually happen to him and the question on everyone’s lips is where is he now and what is he currently doing.
AKON whose real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam born on April 16th, 1973, Akon grew up in the West African country Senegal which he did mention in couple of his songs where he personally describes as his hometown.
While Akon was a young boy, he learned to play five instruments, including the guitar, the drums, and the djembe, a rope tuned skin covered goblet drum that one plays with their bare hands. This actually helped him discovered his love of music, not quite long after he turned seven turned he moved with his family to Union City, New Jersey in which Growing up he had difficulties getting along with other children.
Sadly Akon spent three years in jail due to being framed, though some sources said he was never in jail or sort but according to him while locked away from the outside world, he began to recognize his musical abilities and he developed an appreciation for his musical background.
His first solo album TROUBLE was released in 2004 with singles “Locked Up” and “Lonely”, “Ghetto” and “Pot of Gold”. He blew to stardom when Ghetto became a radio hit after DJ Green Lantern remixed it to include verses from legends Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.
This success led him to become a proud owner & founder of several record labels that released albums and singles to critical acclaim, and also his most known record label KONVICT MUSIC under Interscope Records in which he released his second album Kovicted, and it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling nearly 300,000 copies in its first week.
After six weeks, the album sold more than one million records in the United States. A week later, the album was certified platinum, and Akon’s climb to the top had begun. It stayed in the top twenty of the Billboard 200 for twenty eight consecutive weeks and peaked at number two on four occasions. On November 20th, 2007, the album was certified three times platinum by the RIAA, with over three million copies sold in the United States alone.
Then came his third album FREEDOM, which was just as successful, critically and commercially as his previous works been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, throughout his career and has accomplished the feat of being the first solo artist to hold both the number one and number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and he’s done that twice. He has also had four songs go three times platinum, three songs certified as two times platinum, and over ten songs certified at one times platinum.
He al release have released songs recorded in other languages, including Tamil, Hindi, and Spanish. He even ranked number six on Billboard’s list of the Top Digital Songs Artists of the Decade. After the release of FREEDOM, he hasn’t been as active in the music world like he used to.
In His recent interview with IGN AND INQUISITR he was been asked on what he has being up to lately and what his fans should expect from him, and his reply was: He recently unveiled a new solar campaign for Africa, in which he uses his wealth to bring “electricity to African villages by a clean and affordable solar energy solution.” The project is titled “Akon Lighting Africa”.
He actually started up to train Africans the skills needed to use solar power. Located in Bamako, Mali, the solar academy will train African engineers and entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to produce and maintain solar-powered electricity systems and micro grids. Here, experts will be available to provide assistance with training and equipment and programs will be supplied by angel investors, The projects provided electricity in 14 African countries as of 2015 and employed over 5000 people, and Akon said they have reached 1 million households in African nations with their projects.
When further asked by INQUISITR about the project he said the following about the project, and being a humanitarian.
“Well, when it comes to ‘humanitarian’, I think even outside of being an artist anyone with success should always put themselves in a position to help others.
Ultimately, only a few are chosen to be in a certain status or to be famous, or to even be influential in life. So, you’ve got to understand that those few people that are that position are touched by God. You’re chosen to be in that position. You should always honor that responsibility. You know, most people don’t choose to not do anything. You always have a choice.
“Me, personally, the things that I’m doing may be considered to be ‘humanitarian’, but they’re actually for-profit. A lot of my businesses are for-profit. I just choose to get into businesses that are going to help people. So, naturally, it’s a position where if I’m going to make money I’m going to make money helping people. That’s just my personal view of how I like to get into business. If I’m always offering opportunity, or someone comes to me with a proposal, the first thing I ask is, ‘Okay, how does it help the community?’ Or ‘where does it benefit in a position where others will be touched by it?’ If they can’t answer that question, then I’m not interested.”
The truth is, Akon is one of the few hip hop artists who use their wealth and image for good. If you wonder what he’s up to now, he’s helping the world become a better place. He is a great role model, and one of the most influential and successful people of the past decade.