Throwback: Akon-Locked Up

Akon’s “Locked Up” was the first single from his 2004 debut album Trouble. The singer was signed to Devyne Stephens’ production company when he caught the attention of record producer Jerome Foster who works under the name of Knobody and was the A&R for SRC Records. It was Akon’s song “Lonely” that got him noticed but “Locked Up” was released first with the goal of him gaining an urban audience. He sang about being incarcerated with a visceral conviction made even more intense by the presence of rapper Styles P. His Senegalese and American background resulted in a hybrid sound that was upheld by southern and east coast hip-hop production. “Locked Up” took off and was embraced by hip-hop and R&B fans. The video features Akon and Styles P getting arrested in New York City and then spending time in prison. It was a memorable visual and song that introduced Akon with a  strong launch. Trouble went to number one in the United Kingdom and reached platinum status in America. Akon has released six studio albums and as of 2021 is currently building two cryptocurrency cities in Senegal and Uganda. They are named Akon City and designed to be eco-friendly, futuristic and have shopping malls, music studios and skyscrapers. The economy will be fueled by Akon’s Akoin which is a cryptocurrency he founded.