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Review of Trouble by Akon

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Akon, who likely inherited his musical talent from his father, Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam, is one of the increasingly rare breed of artists who writes and produces his own material. Listening to his impressive debut CD, Trouble, it’s hard to imagine that he once disliked hip-hop. Over time he grew to embrace hip-hop and it shows. His style is a mix of R&B and hip-hop, and Akon glides between singing and rapping effortlessly. In fact you’ll likely ask yourself whether he’s singing or rapping as you listen to the songs.

The CD is entitled ‘Trouble’ for a good reason — Akon got into his fair share of trouble while growing up. The best tracks on the album are those about his past exploits and his efforts to turn his life around. My favorite song, ‘Locked Up’, has Akon reminiscing on a couple of incidents that resulted in him going to jail. ‘Trouble Nobody’ is about Akon dealing with life as an ex-convict, with judges and probation officers telling him to stay out of trouble. He goes into some of the difficulties of ex-cons trying to go straight: “Let me tell you what hurts the most / I’m a convicted felon and I can’t work / No matter where I go to try to get paid / They never give me the job because they are afraid…” Other stand-out tracks include ‘Show Out’, which pays homage to ‘The Message‘, ‘Bananza (Belly Dancer)’, which is a club banger obviously influenced by Akon’s time spent in Atlanta, ‘Gangsta’, ‘Ghetto’ and ‘Journey’.

Akon’s talent also shows through on the production side. The CD covers a lot of musical ground, from Southern-influenced hip-hop to hard-core hip-hop to more traditional R&B songs. He even shows that he can dig in the crates with his well placed, sped up, samlpe of Bobby Vinton’s ‘Mr Lonely’ on the track ‘Lonely’. I think Akon may be one of the the next big producers on the scene. Consider what Lil’ Zane said about him:

“I would compare him to Pharrell,” says Lil’ Zane, who used Akon’s production talents on his own debut. “He can do your beat and sing your chorus.”

That’s high praise, but somehow I think Akon may just live up to it.

Rating: **** out of *****

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  • junior

    In a message dated 8/21/2004 6:49:16 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Juniorbobo writes:
    hi acorn my name is junior i am from nigeria i was your no.1 fan before i kwow u from africa i always hear ur song i like it and when i know u from africa i was so happy i am proud of africa brothers.i will be happy if u can call me at 718 919 4388 i live in new york i ame here 2 years ago. thanks broother and this is my e-mail adress juniorbobo@aol.com or tayibat2004@yahoo.com.

  • Sladginos

    I’ve been jammin Akons album for the last 2 weeks non-stop, boy, its so hot, a bit unbelievable, all my doggs feel it equally. To find out he was African even made it better being Afrik myself…as far as i’m concerned he’s the next BIG thing in the near future…keep doing your thing bro, represent for your roots!! 1 luv

  • Sidi Brahim

    Akon has blown everyone away with his album and style of singing. His voice is so different from the other R&B singers. I’m Myself from Mauritania a country neighboring Senegal, where Akon is from. All Africans are buying your album everywhere in the world france, Germany, Spain anywhere…
    He has broken the glass ceiling and showed that nothing is impossible in America. Keep it up and keep making the good music. I will be watching your steps. Peace.

  • david ruben

    akon is very unique in his own style of singing which brings the postive side of not only africans but black people in general. just wanted to say after listening to ghetto that was a positive song and that is what we all need right now and not b**** or n****. keep it up my brother and remember you are not only representing us (africans) but also the black commubity, luv u bro

  • mamadou

    akonnnnnnnn my man from senegal.my name is Mamadou Thioune im 17 now im from senegal 2 i was born in Dakar. i luved u before knowing u were from Africa but when i found out i almost cried i was so happy i was finaly a nigga from senegal made it . i was so happy for u and for all of us Africans. tanks for representing WEST AFRICA TO THE FULLEST and please i would luv 2 talk u email me at themama2k1@yahoo.com tanks keep doing wut ur doing and remember


  • Doreen

    Hello Akon, I am Doreen Smith, and I am from Jamaica. The first time I heard your songs “Locked UP and Ghetto, I just went crazy. The words are of reality. Then when I saw your video i went head over heels. Everyday I watched it at least five times. You are a realist. Keep up the good work guy and be strong always. You can email me at dormique@yahoo.com. Would love to hear from you.

  • carley flynn

    Hi akon can i just say i’ve listened to lots of R & B tunez and theres been some artists whose first song i liked but rest were crap and others where i liked them an decided to buy their album but then disowned it after a while. Akon your album is class i am from England and i listened to locked up then i listened to lonely, now i have most of my family and all of my friends buying your album. Your a class singer and really relate to issues. keep it up man.

  • samuel oriko

    hi akon iam a 20 year old kenyan whoseem to have gone through the same expirience as you have . it give me much pleasuer that i have rehabilitatedfrom crime an i like listening to your CD it si abomb especially “locked up’AND “ghetto”keep up thegood work an my god bless you. you my contact me at tel+254734840095 or my emailadress samueloriko@yahoo.com

  • jep

    hi akon its jep all ur songs are gr8 hope ya bring out more !!!

  • hi akon its sharne i have heard all ya songs and they are gr8 i hope you bring out more i am 14 years of age and im frm essex hope to email u soon x

  • tu est the best of the best le nigger des niggers le senegalais le plus coooooooollll

  • stevo

    pls send me pics

  • Kelsie carty

    His music and his voice is very refershing to listen to his lyrics are so real,i know that he have a bright future in the music business if he continue on the path that he is on.

    May god bless and keep him.

  • Come back home ,
    I feel me so alone.
    Love lift us up ,
    Where we belong .
    Never more feel
    Alone .
    I love longley .
    The worlds greatest song :)<433333333333333

  • lauren

    Akon you rok the worlds world and my world i wrote a song 4 u to see if u like it or not i wont to be a music writter and i think that u suited the song best

    lor kate

    please email me

    P.S the song is nearly finished but not yet
    and please dont just ignor this letter

  • i like to write to you cos i love ur music, and i want to to be won in this coming up music contex.

    Anne From Nigeria

  • please can anyone provide me with Akon’s email address

  • Carlet

    hi Akon im armenian girl.i love your music.i love you.i love mr.lonlyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  • laura

    Your music represents a unique style. Being a Cameroonian who came to this country young, it is good to know that someone like me has not forgotten where they came from. Your music goes to show that music has no color or nationality. Keep up the good work and keep on inspiring young people everywhere.





  • chase

    wat is Akon’s adress or e-mail

  • akon ur realy doing very good job,am realy apriciate ur songs till here tanzaniaaa people heat ur songs ina all media of da streets ur realy doing good,keep it up,us african here in somalia we realy love u.

  • suleiman

    hello mr Akon I’m Tanzanian I mean we are patriots so we have alot to talk so email at i hope you will send a message to me as soon as you see my message

  • hello email me mr Akon

  • Eby

    Akon is such an inspirational singer for guys in the ghetto. More grease to his elbow!

  • amrques

    hello my name is marques and i have a telent in single and i would be greatful if you could help me, or be my producer.

  • vreau un concert in romania

  • Aminata

    Holle, Mr. Thiam Akon. i hear about you and i been looking for your phone number but i couldn’t get it. can you email me back plaese, thank you. i will be happy if you will email me back. Thank i love you so much.

  • denise

    I was just listening to the rain from the konvicted albulm. At first I thought he (or you, if you do read this) might have been talking about drugs, but on closer listening, I’m pretty impressed that you would even put your feelings out there so intensely. I guess getting so big in such a little time would be a lot to take in at once. Overwelming for you I bet. I guess speaking from everyone on the other side of the fame and fortune wouldn’t see it as “too much”. THE RAIN help me to look at it from a diffrent standing point. Akon, honey, you are truly geniune. That’s why you hit it so big, so fast. And the fact that your even question the integrity of the matter shows your sweetness thru and thru. Smile. You have no worrys, keep being the real person you are. You sound like you know the diffrence, so watch out for the fake ones cuase now a days they’re closing in on us, especially in your buisness. I know God has great plans for you. Stay humble and give him his props. ;+]

  • kathy nd Stephanie

    hey wat it do homie lol;z hahaheheh wowie im so bored hey we were thginkin if ya can talk 2 us tha phone 1 day 2 chat a lil about ya n ya music but we would luv 2 meet ya but yeah xoxoxoxo kat nd STephy bye hola baq @ us <333333

  • ey akOn i have always been a fan of yOu and always will be a fan… when i fOund Out yOu where african omg i was sOo prOud tO bee an african yOu make as all africans prOund. i live in Melbourne which is in Australia and my backgrOund is Ethiopia in Addis Ababa WEST OF AFRICA. yOu knOw 4 mounth agO my family where gOiing tO ethiopia i wasnt gOing tO gO but when i fOund Out yOu where gOing tO have a cOncert there i changed my mind and went to yOur cOncert it was Of the hOok the way yOu sang thrOwing yOur singlet tO the crOwed.
    anyway akOn i am in the raping buisness and i am 15 i want yOu tO be my spOnser and want tO dO music with yOu [Personal contact info deleted] I fOr gOt tO say my name is ThOmas . take it ezy cuz.

  • Akono Jackson

    I tip my hat to Akon. The struggle after prison is a very real one. I am the chairman of a newly formed nationally focused organization. The Ex-Offenders Union Inc. Anyone who can help get the word out please do so. I am really trying to reach some entertainers to put together an Impact project. The issue of life after prison is something that needs to be addressed on a national level, the impact of a nation collective voice will force some things to change for the better.

  • Queen

    Bc it’s actually nice that u guys are promoting my fevourite star Akon. if u could get 2 him, tell him Queen from Nigeria really appreciates him. Since his first album i hav been following 2 catch up with his new release even d ones he did with other stars. As am writting this am shading tears, you hav been my inspirator, when things get tough i play ur album trouble.i think we hav a onnection u always say my mind 4 me,ur song put the blame on me sent hom 2 my mum what i wanted to say to her. ur song d rain, i actually feel u, pls don’t loss ur mind, take it slow everyth will be fine, ur pain is ur strenth, u taught me that, i derived it frm ur songs. keep searching u will c somebdy who lov u 4 u and not 4 position. [Personal contact info deleted] i will b pleased bc if u get 2 him 4 me.

  • marlvin machamire

    hay akon my name is marlvin and im 15 and from senegal i lost my father this year and my grandpa its hard to for get him i think about him when i play im so lonely by you and life is hard im reall trying to make it like you but it seems like its imposesble i wanna b somebody important so i can help people bac in africa i always picture u and me workin togather helping the poors in africa i always do i have a cuzin in nebreska his an underground rapper his on myspace check him out [Personal contact info deleted] i also have a brother in the circus in univisal his name is jon cluth everybody her thinks me and u are related every where i go they do some times i wish we were not jus because u are a rapper because u are african and in us jus call and time and we can get to know each other

  • Emmanuel Okyere

    Hello mr. Akon i’m a boy 18 from West-Africa Ghana
    Akon i am your number one fan from Africa. The first time i heard your song i thought you are from my Country and later fund out from the net you from Senegal in fact i like your song and i have learn t many songs of you i tell through you step i can rap and sing please i have 2 demo that i will like you to listen but don’t know how to play it to you please E-mail me and help me.

  • Pascal

    Hello Akon,
    My name is Pascal. All my friends tell me that we look like and it makes me feel good to feel that with a talently handsome boy like you. Probably you are not getting ma message but i love ur songs, your productions and all you are……..


  • Hello Akon,
    My name is Pascal. All my friends tell me that we look like and it makes me feel good to feel that with a talently handsome boy like you. Probably you are not getting ma message but i love ur songs, your productions and all you are……..


  • Yo Akon,
    Ima 16 Year Old Boy From South East London I Do Music But I Rap And Was Wounderin If You Cud Back 2 Me It Would Be Good If You Can
    Send Me A Private Email On Myspace
    Or Add Me On Msn

  • laura

    hey akon!!!

    hi my names laura im 16 nd frm ireland

    sum of my friends went t ur concert here not to long ago !!!

    i realy wanted t go bt wasnt aloud ( i cried for days when i heard you came out into the croud)
    well anyway I LOVE YOOOH SO MUTCH !!!!!!

    ur BIGGEST fan ever


  • phillip oflynn

    my uncle wrote this song his name is tommy sheldon