Between 2006 and 2010, it was impossible to escape from Akon. The American of Senegalese descent dominated the Brazilian charts with one hit after another. His clips were almost a fixed attraction in programs like TVZ, from the Multishow channel.
First came “Lonely”. Then “Smack That”, in partnership with Eminem. Then came “I Wanna Love You” with Snoop Dogg, “The Sweet Escape” with Gwen Stefani, the romantic and melodic “Don’t Matter” and many more after that.
At the time, he even performed on “BBB 10” (TV Globo) and “Domingão do Faustão” (TV Globo), as well as a duet with Negra Li in the Brazilian version of the song “Beautiful”.
In 2009, Akon was one of those responsible for launching Lady Gaga to stardom. The singer was one of the contractors of the Kon Live record company, founded by the artist. He even lends his voice and appears in the video for Gaga’s first big hit: “Just Dance”.
However, after 2010, little was heard of Akon. His last big hit was “Hold My Hand”, a collaboration with Michael Jackson that still plays from time to time on the radio.
The disappearance can be explained by the three-year break that the singer decided to give his career before returning to acting in 2013. “I gave space for a lot of people to shine”, he said in an interview with the Daily Star newspaper, claiming why he stopped. your activities. After coming back with several releases, however, Akon hasn’t regained hip hop’s “sensation” status.
What made his name back in the media was his project to build a city like Wakanda, Senegal, and the creation of his own cryptocurrency, Akoin.
Find out what Akon has been up to in recent years:
Reggaeton stage and show in Brazil
In 2019, Akon released his first album in 11 years “El Negreeto”. On the album, the singer bet on reggaeton and made partnerships with artists of the genre, such as the Brazilian Anitta in the song “Boom, Boom”. Pitbull, Becky G and Farruko also participated in the project.
In October of that year, Akon performed in São Paulo, at the On Music Festival, at Estádio do Canindé. In videos published by the public, however, it is possible to see that the singer almost did not make a point of disguising the playback.
During his visit to the country, Akon was joined by journalists Mari Palma and Philippe Siani at a gym in the south of São Paulo and posed wearing the Corinthians shirt.
Akon City, the “new Wakanda”
In 2020, Akon announced that he would build a city in the mold of Wakanda, the fictional country in the movie “Black Panther”, in Senegal, the country where he spent part of his childhood.
According to the Washington Post, the construction of AkonCity will cost US$ 6 billion or more than R$ 31 billion. The city will be located in the coastal village of Mbodiène, on the coast of Senegal, about 100 km from the capital Dakar.
In August 2020, the cornerstone of AkonCity was laid by the singer alongside the Minister of Tourism and Transport of Senegal, Alioune Sarr.
The project is ambitious: a futuristic city of about 500 hectares, with a modern hospital with 5,000 beds, luxurious residences, studios for film and musical productions, hotels, restaurants, schools, skyscrapers, shopping mall and airstrip.
All this divided into districts such as “Technology District”, “Education District”, “Health and Safety District” and “Senewood”, a play on words with the American capital of showbusiness, Hollywood.
Akon also intends for the local currency to be its cryptocurrency, Akoin. Today, an Akoin coin is worth US$0.008 or R$0.04, according to the website Coinbase.
In 2020, the singer stated that the first phase of construction would start in 2021 and would be completed by 2023. However, in February of that year, Akon said that the construction of the city would start in a few months. For now, there is not much concrete news about AkonCity.
In January of this year, Akon was sued by an ex-partner for millions of dollars. Devyne Stephens alleges that the AkonCity project and Akoin have pyramid scheme characteristics and may be part of a fraudulent money-raising scheme.
A representative for the singer told Page Six that Stephens’ lines are “innuendo and speculation” and that Akon is “proud” of his work in Senegal.
This is not the artist’s first social endeavor. In 2014, he had already launched the Akon Lighting Africa project. According to the initiative’s (defunct) website, Akon Lighting Africa has brought solar energy solutions to villages in 14 African countries.
In recent months, a remix of “Bananza (Belly Dancer)”, a song released in 2009, has gone viral with a little dance on TikTok.
The singer has some performances scheduled for the next few months in countries like Malta, Egypt, New Zealand and Australia.
Akon has also been releasing some singles sporadically, but nothing that has reached the level of success of its golden age in the 2000s.