Akon, a 25-year-old Senegalese-American singer, songwriter and producer who has the most unusual R&B performer life story has released his new work. Konvicted seems to be a good follow up to his highly successful debut album Trouble, released in 2004, which has established his easy-supple singing style and his authenticating back story connected with criminal past. In a way the subject of gangster life also presents on this new record, but if met here it is represented from a contemplating point of view. On KonvictedAkon means to further cultivate the audience he captured with the ballads Lonely and Locked Up, from Trouble, and so keeps on blending the gangster boasts with club hits and some of the sweetest love songs. This album features a whole list of guest appearances including vocals from Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Styles P. With the mixture of their rapping skills and Akon's smooth R&B style Konvicted suggests another direction for a modern pop music scene which is nowadays overfilled with dozens of twin like performers.
The majority of the album is produced by Akon. The only song not produced by the title artist is Smack That, the first single of the album featuring Eminem. The second single here is I Wanna Luv U recorded together with Snoop Dogg who has introduced it with his delicious sleepy sex raps. Being announced as the leading tracks both of the songs has proved their status and having good chart positions now. But some of the best works on this album are where you’d least expect them. On the almost rock-pop ballad Never Took The Time, Akon eases your ears for a few minutes with some real melodic and mellow singing over guitars. On the following track Mama Africa he pays tribute to Bob Marley with this old type reggae song, where he links modern-day ghetto violence to the legacy of slavery. Several songs on Konvicted touch on the moral dilemma of the street life, often showing a measure of regret amid the bravado. He sounds particularly burdened on Tired of Runnin a bluesy meditation on dealing drugs and the fugitive life. And over the West Coast style Gangsta Bop he depicts hustler's life as being topped with paranoia and despair.
Akon, or, how his parents named him, Aliaune Thiam, was born in St. Louis, but he’s been spending much time in Senegal in his childhood. His complex emigrant story has influenced his music much more than his criminal past. Though Akon spent three years in prison for auto theft, it is hard to call him a ghetto hustler he sometimes claims to be. His father, à respected jazz percussionist Mor Thiam, who was constantly moving across the world couldn’t help keeping his family jumping from States to Senegal and backwards. And Akon learned American music through the filter of an African sensibility, and the sound he cultivates grows in both directions. He deeply understands the basis of rap music and at the same time can make a sensible love song. Akon can move through these styles with grace. That's Akon's strength: delivering hard-hitting street portraits with an R&B singer's depth of emotion but with a rapper's level of credibility. In fact, most of Akon's vocals resonate somewhere between singing and rapping. And with his rich new album Konvicted this graceful hybridizer has fixed his vision, pointing the way for R&B to progress