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Akon has a unique rapping voice, I can tell its him without being told, and theres nothing better than hearing him do something different to his mainstream chart topping singles. This album has a few of those but it mainly expresses who he is. Most of the songs talk about his dreams, goals, ambitions, and not to forget his classic "usual" subject of cars.
Shake down is traight off the bat with the classic getting introuble with tlaw, driving fast cars and living the high life whilst getting brushes with the law. Blown away Is a slow rnb track that combines law breaking with finding love and getting through life trying to become who you want to be. He clearly outlines it isnt easy and unlike Tiao Cruz, he doesnt get off topic half way through the song. Very touching stuff.
This isnt one of those HipHop gangsta blowing heads off as i do a driveby albums, its about a struggle growing up and having ups and downs. The songs have a mix of hip hop and RnB tracks with a slow BPM and easy to understand lyrics. Akon has an american accent but isnt barely understandable.
smack that! is one of his chart topping songs and i dont feel like it really expresses him, you just know a record company edited and changed it to make it sell more records, and thats what i dont like is the raw lyrical passion from rap artists, when they write their own stuff they get it bang on, its a true story of their lifes experiences and its a shame to not hear that in their best selling songs. Akon's Konvicted is no different and for me personally, lacks that raw touch.
I have to say only this and Lil Jon have had so much harsh language and dirty lyrics. Its not just the words, its the dirty references and offensive language. Its in almost every song, sometimes you dont notice it sometimes you do.
This is a great album for those that like Hip Hop and RnB with that raw soul lyrical feature. This is definately worth a listen.
Konvicted, by Akon
Why did I buy the album?
I bought this album because I was browsing through a car boot sale one day, when I noticed this CD shining out like a star to me. There it was amidst the junk. This was not junk! I had seen this album advertised and some of the songs on TV music channels. I knew Akon well, not as a person, as a singer hahaha!
So I asked the man (whose stall it was),
"How much is this CD?" I was so shocked when I discovered the price I was almost knocked of my feet. It was only...wait for it, wait for it...drum roll please...
So immediately I snatched it up and handed over the very small amount of two pound coins. That day I went home with a huge grin plastered all over my chops...
From the first day I bought this, I knew it was going to be good (because I'd heard his songs before) and from the moment I listened to it I saw that I was correct.
Tracks on the album
All the songs are very good and soothing to the ears, below are the tracks on the album. Plus I have elaborated on my favourites.
1. Shake down
2. Blown away ft Styles P
3. Smack That ft Eminem
I love this song; it is possibly my favourite on this whole album. You may have heard this song before on a music channel or a radio station, my favourite part is the solo rap Eminem does. Below I have written the chorus;
_Look back and watch me smack that,
All on the floor, smack that
Give me some more, smack that
Till you get sore, smack that
All on the floor, smack that
Give me some more, smack that
Till you get sore, smack that
This song is very catchy and you'll find yourself singing it wherever you go, I have it downloaded onto my mp3 player and I am constantly listening to it.
4. I wanna love you ft Snoop Dog.
Wow! This song is a really good tune, people of all ages enjoy this one, its quite slow and lovey-dovey for Akon, but all the same really good. My mum, my big sister and I all enjoy listening to this song.
_I know you see me looking at you and
You already know
I wanna love you
You already know, girl_
I really like this song, you may have heard it on Radio 1, it is quite an old song now, I think it came out last year, or maybe the year before, but none-the-less a great song which is easy to listen to and quite relaxing. (By the way, this song contains a few swearwords, but the album contains a clean version of this song aswell)
5. The Rain
6. Never took the time
7. Mama Africa
This song is has a wonderful tune which sounds rather African, hence the name. I'm not sure what its about but the lyrics are very thought provoking.
8. I can't wait
9. Gansta bop
10. Tired of runnin'
11. Once in a while
12 Don't Matter
This song is another of my fabulous favourites. It is so wonderful, the lyrics are easy to understand and it is almost story-like. It is about a man and a woman and nobody wants to see them together but it doesn't matter to them because they have each other.
_Nobody wanna see us together,
But it don't matter no,
'Cause I got you, babe_
14. I wanna love you (clean)
A few of my friends have borrowed this album, including my teacher! This just goes to show that a large variety of people can enjoy this album.
The people who will like this album are probably the people who like Akon and other hip-hop/R&B/ Rap Artists such as Eminem, Dizzee Rascal ect. Even if you do not enjoy the album, you have to admit that the music and lyrics are very thoughtful and mind blowing.
My general opinion is I love the album and it is the favourite album that I own. I definitely recommend it.
Where to purchase
This album could be bought on eBay, Amazon, or from any good music stores in the UK and probably America too such as HMV or Zavvi. Because the album is quite old now (only by about two years, mind) I would expect it to be around £5 or if you are lucky like me, £2 from a car boot sale!
After the release of 'Lonely' a few years ago, it would take something amazing for Akon to win me over. I couldn't stand his first few songs and I certainly wouldn't have gone out and purchased 'Trouble'.
However, when Konvicted was released my opinion was hugely altered. This album is absoloutely faultless. I prefer the songs which haven't been released as singles in their own right, probably because I have heard songs such as 'I Wanna Love You' played so many times that I'm slightly tired of them.
In my opinion the best tracks are 'Blown Away' and 'Mama Africa' but they are all good in different ways.
Through this album, Akon has shown his diversity and when hearing the lyrics you can almost feel the passion that Akon is singing them with.
Akon is hugely talented and if you are in to Hip-Hop music, I really doubt this could disappoint. After you listen to this a few times, the songs get stuck in your head for days on end.
I have played this album over and over, and I am not abot to stop doing so. If you haven't yet purchased it, I urge you to. This is the very best of Akon!
Konvict Clothing on a convicted star.
Many will know Akon for having the song of summer 2005, 'Lonely' was his second single to be released from his 2004 debut album 'Trouble' published by the SRC/Universal record label already famed for the likes of Nelly, Amy Winehouse and Scissor Sisters. Growing up in Senegal, little is known about is background with conflicting reports that he was is 34 years of age whilst in a review late last year hinting that he was only in his mid-twenties. After recording his first track at the age of 15, Akon was then jailed for armed robbery and drug distribution charges, this time in prison would be put to good use and he would use as inspiration for his top ten charting debut single, 'Locked Up'. Akon's music would continue to take infulence from his criminal background, entitling his second album 'Konvicted', with a third album due in May 2008 titled 'Acquitted'.
2006's 'Konvicted' would show a huge chart improvement on the US Billboard to his first album, peaking at #2, whilst the UK market did the reverse and only peaked at #16 compared to the love affair we had with his first album when it topped our charts. Since its release, 'Konvicted' has gone three times platinum including a re-release featuring the single 'Sorry, Blame It On Me' that was inspired by the controversy generated when Akon simulated sex on stage with a 15 year-old girl in a performance at an adult club in Trinidad.
"While crooners like Usher and Neyo sing to the ladies, Akon sings for the guys -- mostly about wanting to bend the ladies over" - Rolling Stone Magazine
1. Shake Down (3.52) - * * /5*
2. Blown Away ft. Styles P (3.29) - * *
3. Smack That ft. Eminem (3.32) - * * * * *
4. I Wanna Love You ft. Snoop Dogg (4.07) - * *
5. The Rain (3.27) - * * * *
6. Never Took the Time (3.57) - * * * *
7. Mama Africa (4.26) - * *
8. I Can't Wait ft. T-Pain (3.46) - * * * *
9. Gangsta Bop (4.07) - * * *
10. Tired of Runnin' (4.33) - * *
11. Once In A While (3.57) - * * *
12. Don't Matter (4.52) - * * * * *
Eminem was one of the many people that had sat up and listened to Akon after the success of his debut, and was more than happy to lend his hand to producing the follow-up album. Featuring on the first single release, 'Smack That', Eminem would give Akon his highest charting single of his career thus far on the US Billboard. This track is one of Eminem's last assaults on the UK market, topping our charts thanks to his quick thinking lyrics mentioning popular culture at the time including the Pussycat Dolls. Naturally this track showed that Akon could hang with the bigger stars and was a great place to further his career and promote his second album, a track that can still get clubs going two years later.
'I Wanna Love You' was another hugely popular release, whether it be for its clean version or its dirty version that took out the word 'love' for a more lustful f-word. Featuring Snoop Dogg I wasn't really keen on his vocals, so it was handy that there just so happened to be so many other unofficial remixes around. Nevertheless, this became Akon's first-ever US Billboard chart topper and gained a lot of airplay, but to me this is track that we already knew Akon was more than capable of. Where are the defining characteristics of a 'Lonely'?
"Nobody wanna see us together, but it don't matter no, cause I got you babe" - Akon
'Don't Matter' became Akon's first solo #1 on the US Billboard, and his popularity in the UK remained fairly consistant peaking at #3. This was without a doubt Akon's most romantic release to date, and adds to a beautiful night time close to the album. The video documented Akon running around on a beach with his young lady friend in a bikini, and even included some reggae aspects. Listening back to this track now I would go as far to say that it sounds better now than it did at its most popular twelve months back.
'I Can't Wait' is set to be Akon's fifth single release off the album, although for those who bought the original release of the album you are only going to have four of the singles Akon is milking off the release. Considering this single is coming two years after the album originally dropped, it is no wonder that when I first heard the track I thought it was old. Almost to every song I have listened to so far I have mentioned how up to date it still sounds, and 'I Can't Wait' fits right in at the moment.. even with T-Pain's robotic vocals that we are being choked with on music channels at the moment with 'Church' and his feature on Flo Rider. The video is reminiscent of 'Lonely', except with a piano and a car in the background. This is without a doubt one of the best tracks on the album, and I feel that how this does in the charts will gage just how popular Akon now is after his reputation was dented last year.
"Around 2,000 fans showed up to see Akon perform in Copenhagen, despite the venue only having capacity for 1,000" - Digitalspy
As far as 'Shake Down' being a good pick for an introduction to the album, I'm not exactly sure.. the only benefit I feel of that is people picking up the album and mistaking that title at the top as the name of his single featuring Eminem, no musical benefits. I know it got me at first. The track is very ordinary, and the same goes for 'Blown Away' as Styles P adds nothing to the track - especially when you compare his impact to the hugely positive impact Eminem and Snoop Dogg made to his career on this album. 'The Rain' is a slow track, and whilst I cannot find myself listening to it over and over, the lyrics are interesting in terms of being about his struggle to top his first album (we now know he did that). 'Never Took The Time' then leads on beautifully as the rain passes, but the weather is still quite downbeat.
'Mama Africa' is a token track on the album, playing true to Akon's heritage. 'Konvicted' is overall a completely underestimating album, as it does have strength in depth and a good mix of tracks, although there are huge questions to which way his career will go with 'Acquitted'. Reportedly his third album release is due to be every bit as good, and some, with Michael Jackson possibly being lined up to feature on the first single due to Akon's work on 'Thriller 25' that was released earlier this year. I personally hope Akon can stick around for a while, and having already named his fourth album 'Double Jeopardy' it appears he isn't planning on going anywhere in a hurry either.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Shake Down
2 Blown Away - Akon & Styles P
3 Smack That - Akon & Eminem
4 I Wanna Love You - Akon & Snoop Dogg
6 Never Took The Time
7 Mama Africa
8 I Can't Wait
9 Gangsta Bop
10 Tired Of Runnin'
11 Once In A While
12 Don't Matter