Akon has stood the test of time as not only a generational artist, but also an impactful entrepreneur whose influence has permeated beyond the music industry. In the time between his breakthrough 2004 hit "Locked Up" and the news that he was developing a $6 billion cryptocurrency-run futuristic city in Senegal, his many contributions were innumerable.
In a new interview with VladTV, the iconic singer and record producer discussed a number of topics at length, including his relationship with longtime collaborator and fellow contemporary music icon T-Pain. They even discussed the time Nelly tried to persuade the "Bartender" artists to form a supergroup with Pharrell Williams.
It was Akon's insightful comments about T-Pain's progression through the years, however, that struck a chord. Akon was quick to point out T-Pain's immense talent, but he also waxed poetic about why he thinks he isn't as relevant as he once was. "I think one of the major reasons is that T-Pain never left the hood," Akon said. "He just confined his music to urban music. That was it."
Akon went on to say that, at first, his Grammy Award-winning counterpart mirrored himself in terms of his ability to cross genres. "I saw T-Pain as another me, to be able to cross outside of urban," he said before expounded his advice. "Go into pop, go into EDM, go into Latin—I still think 'til this day he still can do it."
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Check out a clip from the interview below.