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AKON - KONVICTED Ė UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: ****

AKON - KONVICTED This Senegalese-American singer hustled his way out of the streets ~ the number one key to credibility in the hip-hop business. Caught and jailed for armed robbery and drug charges, it was during his time in prison that he began writing and working on what would eventually turn into his multi-platinum selling debut Trouble.

Akon sticks to the same script on Konvicted ~ women, guns, drugs, wealth, and more women ~ and tries to deliver an album with plenty of dawg hooks throughout. Smack That, the albumís first single, debuted at #2 on the US charts last year; and within a week of release, Eminem was on the radio claiming that Akon was his favorite rapper of the moment (of course, the single did feature Eminem as well). The 12 tracks here are really geared toward letting loose in the club, and like past hits Locked Up and Mr. Lonely, thereís a free flowing booty shaking beat on tracks like Gangsta Bop and Blown Away.

To an extent, he compensates the recordís faults with plenty of style, often taking a page or two from Jay-Zís handbook by hooking up with the big boys ~ single I Wanna Love You features Snoop Doggy Dogg, and eventually reached #1 on the US Charts. Recent release Donít Matter was the second single from the album to reach #1; however, after repeated listens, Akonís style only goes so far. With a relatively brief (for a hip-hop effort) playing time, this falls short from being a five star effort.

The man has worked with artists like Gwen Stefani and Elton John in the past, so thereís no denying he has the talent necessary to make genre breaking music ~ which he unfortunately doesnít do much of on his new one. Still, 50 Cent and Eminem fans will want to get this.

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