Akon, along with T-Pain, led the better part of the late 2000s on the radio. Nearly every other song had them on it before the likes of Flo Rida and Pitbull went full-on pop. Beginning with songs like “Locked Up” and “Smack That,” Akon and T-Pain (who I’ve wrote about glowingly before) were the sounds of my middle school youth. He’s been gone outside of guest appearances, aside from one or two songs, for five years.
It seems like Akon is trying to make somewhat of a comeback, though. He’s got a new album, Stadium, lined up for a November 16 release for the time being, and now, a radio-edit of a new Akon song, “Whole Lot,” featuring Migos has surfaced. But it’s making me uncomfortable. When artists of five-10 years ago try to take the sound of today and use it for their comebacks, they need to realize how out-of-the-loop they are. What voices sounded good on the radio eight years ago don’t necessarily sound the same now. I don’t hate how it sounds, and it’ll appear in an episode of Ballers when it comes back, I’m sure. It’ll be in an episode of Empire or something like that. It’ll get radio play. But damnit, this is like an Adam Sandler from the last five years: a moneymaker, sure, but this seems fake as hell.
This could be a Migos song featuring Akon, and I’d feel totally different, but if this is what Akon’s going for, then Patrick ain’t as enthusiastic as he could’ve been. Listen to “Whole Lot” below.