Akon is so many things. He sings pop, he raps and does hustler music too. More often than not he actually sells his vocals to other musicians. Yes, Akon’s vocals are unique and widely sought after. Akon songs become hits right away most of the times. It could be his African descent or simply his great music, but the fact is that Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam enjoys a huge African audience; specifically Ghanaian.
Did you know that Akon is actually his real name? Majority of his fans think it’s a stage name. Well, the American with Senegalese roots is called Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam. Born in April 16, 1973, Akon songs list consists mainly of contemporary music. He likes to sing of current issues, especially those affecting Africans. That is one major reason he enjoys a lot of Ghanaian attention. You will hardly hear of vulgar words and content in Akon’s music. However, once in a while he surprises us with something different, like the ‘I Want To Love You’ song.
We have prepared a list of the top ten most popular Akon songs in Ghana. Although music taste differs from one person to another, this list is compiled from the most listened to Akon songs in Ghanaians playlists. People listen to what they love, don’t they?
1. Akon - Mama Africa
‘’She lifts me right off the ground
But no you're not gonna see it on your TV
So yo just listen up and believe me’’
Mama Africa is one of the most favorite songs to Ghanaians. Akon in a very clear voice sings of how Much Africa has to give, what a nice continent it is.He uses reggae version to speak of the troubles and cries of Africans during colonialism. Akon goes on to sing of the beauty of natural Africa; ‘’Sweet blackness wantness be there. So much love to care’’ The beginning of each verse has the AFRICA acronym where in each line Akon sings something connected to the fall and restoration of Africa. He talks of the good things in Africa that no one talks about and the media never showcasts. The top cream of this is how he mentions Senegal. ’Senegal can you feel it.’’
It is good to note that Akon never got to release the song officially, the video spread through internet leakage. This is because Mama Africa is not an original song. It was originally done by Peter Tosh a reggae singer and several musicians got to do its remix later, Akon is one of these. He was not given the license to proceed with its production but all that matters is that the fourth single from the Konvict album, Mama Africa is a favorite tune .It’s a beautiful patriotic song, a homage to Africa.
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2. Akon Don't Matter
‘’Nobody wanta' see us together
But it don't matter, no ('cause I got you babe)….’’
Fusing RnB and reggae, the tune ‘’oh,oh,oh….”sets the cool tempo for this song in its introduction. It’s everything Akon; cool tune, sweet vocals, clear well-spelled out lyrics. Don’t matter is another great tune in the Akon’s best songs. It was released in 2007 in the Konvict album.
Borrowing part of the chorus from Bob Marley’s (legend of reggae music) song Zimbabwe and another verse from Ignition sang by R. Kelly, Don’t matter has that unique Akon feel. We can’t be sure why he says nobody wants to see them together, but we can be sure Akon is determined to try in this song. He is in love and plans to keep it that way despite the haters.
Most Ghanaians feel this tune.
3. Michael Jackson and Akon - Hold My Hand
“So if you just hold my hand
Baby I promise that I'll do all I can
Things will go better if you just, hold my hand…”
A rare and beautiful combination of Michael Jackson and Akon in one song. Their voices blend well and it’s a beautiful duet, a top ten international hit during its production time. We expected nothing less when the song previously leaked with Michael’s lovely tenor, Akon’s unique vocals backed by well stringed guitars and a melodious chorus.
This is Akon and Michael getting all lovey dovey. I would say all Ghanaians that love music have heard of this song, even know its lyrics.
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4. Akon featuring Keri Hilson - Oh Africa
“This is our time to shine,
Our time to fly,
Our time to be inside the sky…”
With the melodious voice of Keri, Akon dedicates this song to Africa and uses pure traditional African beats while at it.How awesome! Although it’s not the first time we heard Keri Hilson and Akon together in a song after Mic Check and Change Me, this pop song is different. Produced for a charity event dubbed “Konfidence” meant to raise money for poor kids in Africa, OH Africa was featured in the Listen up album as one of the theme songs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup games.
The video is of high quality, filled with art, paint and drums. The scenes give way to each other harmoniously. The vibrant African beats add lots of live to the song.
Oh Africa may not be one of Akon’s latest songs, but it is undeniably beautiful in and out; the video, music, set up, lyrics and the original intention of doing the track.
5. Akon featuring Eminem – Smack That
This is one of Akon’s best songs, a beautiful combination of song and rap. Featured in the album ‘Konvicted’ where other good songs like Akon no more you are found. ‘Smack That’ which features Eminem who is a rapper, portrayed Akon in another light, as the kind of musician that can sing well to any tempo of music, considering that Akon has a unique slow beat he likes to sing along to yet he did so well in harmonizing with Eminem’s rapping speed.
Did you know that this song that many people agree qualifies as a club song was written by Eminem and not Akon? I guess most Akon fans did not know this. However, Akon, Luis Resto and Mike Strange did their own small contributions to its writing and developments, to top up what Eminem had written up already.
The song that topped music charts when it was released also got nominated for Best Male Artist and Best Hook-up at MTV Australian edition. The music video is its biggest strength, featuring a short reproduction of the ’48 hours’ movie. Akon assumes the character of a convict that is released from prison on account that he looks for and delivers a specific woman witness. Following leads he is given, he finds himself in nightclub where he meets Eminem and they strike a deal to do a song. The ‘Smack that’ video increased its popularity by featuring very well-known actors and actresses. For example, Layzie of Bone Thugs, Kendra of Girls Next Door and actor Mark Dyniewicz. On top of the certifications(platinum and gold)it received, Smack That was in 2007 nominated for Best Earth Shattering Collaboration. It’s a super awesome song, featuring great artists in one record.
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6. Akon - Right Now
“I wanna make up right now na na
Wish we never broke up right now na na
We need to link up right now na na…”
Akon right now is a contemporary RnB in his freedom album. It has simple lyrics with a repetitive “na na na” that fans really enjoy singing along to. Although a lot of remixes have been done to this tune, the official remix is done with Kat Deluna.It was produced by Akon himself and Giorgio Tuinfort.
This song from the Freedom album is about a lady that Akon broke up with. He sings that he now misses her and wants to make up immediately. For the younger Ghanaians that dedicate songs to each other, this would be a perfect tune to get back your girlfriend after a break up. Since its release in 2003, Right now has not lost its charm. It still gets mentions amidst Akon’s latest songs.
Most Ghanaians love Akon songs Freedom album like this for its cool tune and simple lyrics. You can watch the official video above. Other songs off the Freedom album are Akon Sunny Day and akon Birthmark.
7. Akon - Sorry, Blame It on Me
This song is based on an infamous scandal that involved Akon dancing with an underage girl and later allegedly soliciting sex from her. This was during a tour of Akon and his crew to Thailand. In his defense, Akon says it was a 21 and above years policy club so he could not have known a fourteen year old was present. His crew that had taken a video of the incidence shared the video online, raising a lot of criticism from members of the public. It even got worse when the authorities took no action against Akon on the said matter, only asking that this video be taken down as it was interfering into his copyrights.
The song found in the Akon songs of the Konvicted album is a dedication to the young girl involved. While placing some blame on the parents, he says it’s okay if they put all the blame on him anyway. He also sings about his loved ones who he hasn’t been able to spend enough time with, promising to become better.
8. Akon – Lonely
Also popularly known as Mr. Lonely, this might not be one of Akon’s latest songs but it is definitely one of the most loved, judging from the YouTube views it has. Released in the album ‘Trouble’, Akon sings about a lady he who left him, saying he now realizes his mistakes. He proceeds to talk about how he gets hurt whenever he sees happy couples as it reminds him of this relationship. It’s a good reflective song that teaches men that a good lady finally gets tired of the games and meets a guy that treats her better. This song topped the charts and stayed there for eight weeks, quite some time.
Did I say that this was the song that caught the attention of Universal Imprint SRC Records? Well, it is. Mr. Lonely is the song that got Akon signed up in this record as it proved he really had talent and a lot of potential. Note that this was before Akon had his own music recording label. Sung with the usual laid back nature of Akon, Ghanaian fans still enjoy this song.
9. Akon featuring Snoop Dogg – I Wanna Love You
Akon proved his diversity yet another time by featuring Snoop Dogg in his song, found in his ‘Konvicted’ album. This song also featured in Snoop Dogg’s album ‘The Blue Carpet Treatment.’ Known for its dirty version ‘I wanna F*ck You’, this song rose up the charts to become the first Akon’s first single and Snoop’s second on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Previously, the song was made to be done with Pliers.The said musician however got himself trapped in a controversy during a performance in a Florida Club, 238 West Nightclub. He was asked by the organizers to shorten his performance so as to give way to Lil’ Boosie to also perform. This angered him causing the musician to start firing at the crowd, an act that landed him and his crew in jail. You notice that he is not even featured in the song’s production credits. It might sound mean but it was the right thing to do. Featuring Pliers would have been a bad publicity for ‘I Wanna Love You’ and this is terrible for business.
Akon has censored the parts found in the dirty version of the song but still keeps a parental advisory alert on the song’s cover. For a musician who mostly does romance and contemporary message songs, I would say the ‘I wanna love you’ dirty version was completely unexpected and yes, people love surprises. It’s a popular song.
10. Akon featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy – I’m So Paid
Anytime you hear Weezy in a song, it’s a gangster hip hop song. Young Jeezy is another younger musician taking Weezy’s lead; hardcore hip-hop and rap music. This song’s best feature is its video, where Akon lands on a yacht from a chopper. He then trades a diamond for money with a lady he finds in the yacht before stealing the same diamond he had sold and making away in a boat with both the money and diamond, in the company of another woman. On getting safely to land, Akon trades this diamond giving his companion money to let him keep the diamond. The woman later realizes he was paid using fake money.
‘I’m so paid’ raises mixed reactions because as much as it depicts Akon living a good moneyed life, it suggests that the sources of his income are illegal criminal activities. Could it be resonating back to Akon’s real life?
It outweighs Akon’s latest songs as this video gives a rare presentation of Akon as a gangster. The rest are usually a simple mention of acquitted convicted at the beginning of the song.
A song from the Akon freedom album, Usain Bolt is mentioned in the track as he confessed to be an ardent listener of Akon songs.
‘I’m so paid’ is where hip hop meets R&B. For the Akon lovers that also have a thing for hip hop, this song is perfect for you.
History of Akon
Born to a mother that was a dancer and a father that played instruments (percussionist), it’s no wonder Akon is so diversified as far as music is concerned. Each version he does comes out just right. Besides music, Akon is a songwriter, a businessman, a producer, an actor and the peak of his success is that he owns two recording labels; Konvict Muzik and the Kon Live Distribution. Akon’s best songs are recorded by Konvict Muzik and he often says it at the beginning of his songs. Who doesn’t like to listen to great music? Akon is also the proud owner of Konvict Clothing that stocks urban designs and street wear.
Another reason Ghanaians like all Akon songs or at least most of them is because they can associate with them. Although born in St.Loius, Missouri, Akon grew up visiting Senegal a lot. The African in him is very intact and it feels like he is one of us. He actually is one of us. When he sings about Africa, you will feel him because he means it.After the release of his ‘Trouble’ album in 2004 that gave us the song ‘Locked Up’ which propelled Akon into fame, he hasn’t turned back.
Akon rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album Trouble. Akon songs list has continued to grow, with new hits being churned day after day. So far he has done five albums; Discovery, Trouble, Konvicted, Freedom and Stadium.
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Akon’s musical journey
Most fans are usually only interested in how good the music is.More ardent fans are interested in the musician’s everything. Personal life, past life, life hustles and any future plans. After listing the top ten most popular Akon songs in Ghana, it’s good that Ghanaians get to know their favorite international artist a bit more. How did he become the music legend he is today? Read on and find out.
Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam was born in St. Louis Missouri but spent his childhood between Missouri and Senegal, his original home. Life wasn’t good growing up as he grew up in the ghetto. Like most of his peers, he got into trouble and found himself in jail.
It was here that his music star shone. That is why all his albums usually have words like freedom, convicted and acquitted in them.
His three year stay in jail gave him a hearing with Devyne Stephens, the Upfront Megatainment president who immediately felt his talent and potential. This was after Lil’ Zane the rapper brought Akon along to a rehearsal. Devyne and Akon became friends immedietly.He then became Akon’s musical mentor. Soon after, Akon’s recording deal with Elektra was lost and Devyne signed him up and made him the star he is today .Devyne says "What caught my attention right away was "Lonely", and I said, this kid is official – this is a huge record.” Akon grew from performing chorus as a featured artist. With time he got exposed and learnt the ropes and hasn’t looked back since then.
Little is known about Akon’s personal life as he prefers it that way. However, at least we know that he is a Muslim by faith; a practicing Muslim. It’s not a wonder as majority of Senegal Africans practice Islam. He says he has six children and three mothers of these children and he loves his family. From majority of his songs, we can’t deny that maybe he really is a loving man.
Akon loves football and his favorite club is Chelsea FC.
There are two major controversies in Akon’s life. One, some people have claimed that he was never in jail and uses this for the fame. Akon defends this and says he served shorter jail terms that amounted to three years for petty crimes but was never in jail for the continued period of three years and thus the claims from his haters. The other contradiction is a case where he was accused of allegedly sleeping with a minor in a club. The club owners however defended him saying their club is strictly a 21 years and above only admittance. Whatever the case, I would say it is not for us to judge and Akon is only human.
Besides music, Akon owns a clothing line and two recording labels. Wait for this one, he also owns a diamond mine in South Africa. We all know of the worth of a single small-sized diamond rock, now we are talking of a mine. The whole mine. Wow! He donates part of the profits to the local communities to help in their livelihood. Even when he is not singing, he has investments making him income. Besides looking for money, Akon is a known Philanthropist, especially when it has to do with Africa. He has hosted several charity concerts in his life. Akon also owns a charity called Konfidence Foundation. This stretches its help all the way to Africa, his motherland.
Now that you know your artist, you may continue enjoying your favorite tunes from Akon song lists. He has kept a low profile lately, but all his tunes are timeless and it is clear that Akon's new songs will also have an impact many years later.
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