Contains an untitled hidden track following "Easy Road".
Personnel: Akon (rap vocals); Daddy T, Devyne, Pickelhead (rap vocals); Tony Love (guitar); Kardinal Offishall, Miri Ben-Ari, The Beatnuts, Baby Bash, P-Money, Sean Biggs.
Recording information: Patchwerk, Atlanta, Georgia (2005); Upfront, Nashville, TN; Stankonia, Atlanta, GA.
Young R&B singer Akon's life has been filled with struggle and fortune, and both scenarios are channeled into his debut record, fittingly entitled TROUBLE. Akon was born in Senegal, son of a well-known African jazz percussionist, but moved to New Jersey when just seven years old. Once in the States, Akon was in and out of jail, until he decided to forego that existence and embrace music. Akon's style derives from many influences, including hip-hop and his African heritage, but TROUBLE could be described as the grittier side of neo-soul, with a sound similar to Anthony Hamilton.
TROUBLE opens with "Locked Up," a smooth, rap-infused dirge perfectly suited for Akon's winsome, high-pitched vocals, which retain just a pinch of an African accent. He continues with the somber theme of redemption on the melodic "Trouble Nobody." Akon reveals a markedly different side of himself on the first single, the dance-floor tribute to beautiful women, "Bananza (Belly Dancer)." However, most of TROUBLE wanders in the sadness of living amongst urban decay, focusing on the trouble Akon has seen, and he's seen a lot.
What the critics say...
Spin (p.120) - "Akon Thiam is a butter-smooth outsider pushing a rugged agenda..." - Grade: A-
- Locked Up
- Trouble Nobody
- Belly Dancer (Bananza)
- Pot Of Gold
- Show Out
- When The Time's Right
- Don't Let Up
- I Won't
- Locked Up - (remix, Bonus Track, featuring Styles P)
- Belly Dancer (Bananza) - (remix, featuring Kardinal Offishall)
- Gunshot (Fiesta Riddim) - (featuring Kardinal Offishall)
- Keep On Callin' - (featuring P-Money)
- Never Gonna Get It - (featuring Sean Biggs/Topic)
- Miss Melody - (featuring Miri Ben-Ari)
- Kill The Dance (Got Something For Ya) - (with Kardinal Offishall, featuring Baby Bash)
- Find Us (In The Back Of The Club) - (featuring The Beatnuts)
- Baby I'm Back - (with Baby Bash, featuring Savage)
- Yey - (Konvict Muzik Exclusive, featuring Grady Babies)