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AKON PLEADS GUILTY TO TOSSING FAN December 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 10:28 am
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Singer Akon pleaded guilty to harassment Wednesday for throwing a fan off stage during a concert last year in Fishkill, New York.

 

       Under the plea deal, he will serve no jail time as long he performs 65 hours of community service and pays a $250 fine.       

       The 35-year-old singer tossed a teenage boy off the stage during a June 2007 concert at Dutchess stadium near Poughkeepsie. Another member of the crowd said she suffered a concussion when the teen landed on her.      

       Witnesses said a spectator threw an object at Akon during the show. After he asked the crowd to point out the culprit, a security guard picked up a 15-year-old boy and sent him up to the stage. Akon hoisted the teen onto his shoulders and flung him back into the crowd. The incident was caught on several camera phones and was posted on teh Internet.      

       After the plea, Akon shook hands with Anthony Smith, the now 16-year-old fan, and apologized to him and his parents. The artist would not speak to reporters after the hearing, but Andrea Zellan, his lawyer, issued a written statement saying, “We are pleased that the case has been resolved and Akon looks forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind him.”      

       Akon, born Aliaune Thiam in Senegal, was originally charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment.

 

Common Sells Over 81K, EPMD’s Comeback Fails To Chart In The Top 200 December 17, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 11:25 am
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Chi-town vet Common just missed the top 10 on his debut week on the Billboard 200, while label boss Kanye is steadily on pace to reach platinum status.

According to the Nielsen SoundScan, Com’s 8th studio album, Universal Mind Control, landed at the number 12 spot, selling around 81,700 copies in its first week. The 16 year vet opted for a more party vibe with this record, working extensively with The Neptunes and OutKast producer Mr DJ. UMC features appearances by G.O.O.D. music leader Kanye West and Cee Lo Green, among others.

With his third week on the charts, the Louis Vuitton Don’s latest release, 808’s & Heartbreak is inching its way to platinum status. After officially going gold last week, Ye now sits on 719,900 albums sold. Standing 6 seats up from his associate Common, the super producer/rapper sold 126,800 discs this week.

On his second week on the charts, hip-hop hookman extraordinaire Akon drops from the number 7 position to number 18, selling 63,000 copies of his new album, Freedom. The Senegalese-born singer has sold a total of 173,900 CDs so far.

Failing to make it on the top 200 this week is We Mean Business, the comeback disc by hip-hop legends EPMD. Bay Area heavyweights Keak Da Sneak and San Quinn’s collabo CD, Welcome To Scokland, also failed to make the charts.

Next week look for new releases by Soulja Boy and Plies to debut in the top 10.

 

AKON CLARIFIES CRIMINAL PAST December 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 11:54 am
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Akon spoke to Access Atlanta recently and addressed allegations that he fabricated much of his criminal past to create a marketable gangster image.      

       In April, under the headline Akon’s Con Job, the Web site Smoking Gun reported that the artist was not behind bars for a three-year stretch as he had claimed in media interviews.       

       Akon told Access Atlanta that his mention of “three years” represented the accumulation of all of his run-ins with the law, not one long sentence.      

       “I got caught up in cars and this and that. Kept going in and out of jail. Three months here, six months there, two weeks here,” Akon said. “And it was to a point where I was like, ‘This really doesn’t make any sense. What am I doing?’ And the last stretch I did was six months in Dekalb County (Georgia) after I was pulled over in a stolen car.

       “So I guess when I was being interviewed, and I would say, ‘Yeah I did about three years,’ I wasn’t saying I did a three year stretch, I was calculating the time from when I started to get in trouble to the time when I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ And I think that was mistranslated in the Smoking Gun article and other stories.”

       Akon also dismissed the story of him being jailed for being a leader of a car theft ring, revealing his time in prison was always for receiving stolen goods.      

       “The majority of the time I was in jail was for theft by receiving. I was always receiving stolen cars,” Akon states. “I mean, honestly, if I was, they would have had enough to make it stick. They tried to convict me as (a) ringleader and they didn’t have enough evidence.”

       Akon’s interview was conducted to promote the Dec. 2 release of his third studio album, “Freedom.”

 

AKON ‘FAN THROWING’ TRIAL POSTPONED December 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 10:32 am
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Akon was supposed to begin his fan tossing trial on Dec. 1 in Fishkill, NY, but the start date was postponed until Dec. 17, according to the Times Herald Record.

 

      The Senegalese artist is accused of throwing a teenager from the stage into the crowd during a concert in June 2007. The boy had reportedly heckled him during a performance. After Akon sought the help of crowd members to point him out, the singer’s security pulled him on stage.

 

       In footage of the incident posted on YouTube, Akon picked him up and threw him back into the crowd, where he landed on another concertgoer, who said she suffered a concussion.       

       The singer has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment. It will be decided on Dec.17 if a trial will go ahead, or if a settlement will be made, reports the Times Herald Record.

Watch footage of the “fan throwing” incident:

 

BEYONCE, BRODY DISCUSS ‘CADILLAC’ KISS

 

Darnell Martin, the writer/director of “Cadillac Records,” admitted at Monday’s premiere that she took some “dramatic license” in creating a make-out scene between Etta James and the head of her label, Leonard Chess.      

       But, Adrien Brody, who plays Mr. Chess, said he had no problem with the historical inaccuracy of kissing James, who is played in the film by Beyonce Knowles.

 

       “Let’s just say it wasn’t a deal breaker,” the grinning actor told the New York Daily News. “When I met Etta [the real one], she told me, ‘Leonard and I did not do those things!’ So, yes, it was somewhat embellished. But what’s wonderful is the truth Beyonce brings to that moment. That justified it.”      

       Beyonce, who came to the premiere with husband Jay-Z, said she didn’t find the intimacy repellent.      

       “It wasn’t so bad,” she said. “I remember when he kissed Halle Berry. He’s not shy! Not at all.”      

       Meanwhile, Cedric the Entertainer, who plays bluesman Willie Dixon, said he was upset that “they wrote me out of a scene with Beyonce.”      

       Following the premiere, cast members Mos Def, Gabrielle Union and Emmanuelle Chriqui hit the after-party at Marquee with guests Leonardo DiCaprio, Diddy, Ne-Yo, John Legend, Kevin Connolly, Akon and Russell Simmons.

Watch the trailer for “Cadillac Records”:

 

Akon Says T-Pain Best Hook Man Of All Time: “I Don’t Think Nate’s Any Competition To What We’re Doing Right Now” December 2, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 12:50 pm
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Akon is one of three crooners to have held hip-hop’s hook man crown since R&B hooks became the norm in the 90s.

Nate Dogg, Kon and his protege T-Pain, have all taken turns as the hook man du jour -seemingly establishing a monopoly on rap hooks during their respectives reigns. While Nate, the senior of the group has been hooking rappers up for 16 years, Kon thinks he’s no match for what he and Pain have been doing the past few years.

“I mean it depends on what you consider to be a hook man,” Kon told XXLMag.com. ”Nate, I don’t think he’s any competition to what we’re doing right now. The West Coast, which was incredibly hot, there wasn’t nobody touching Nate Dogg at that time. I was around at that time. It wasn’t no getting through them doors.

“Nate had it locked down,” Kon continued. “But I think as time started changing, I slowly took over because I came with more than just a hook. I came and gave you the song itself. When you came to Akon for a record, you’ll get the record, you’ll the track, you’ll get the song and the concept for it.”

But when it comes down to best hook man off all time, Kon gives it up to his own signee, T-Pain.

“If I had to give it personally to anybody, I would give it to T-Pain,” Kon revealed. ”I always looked at him as someone that can add a lot of color to someone’s record. I do it a lot of different ways, but I’m always thinking business when I’m doing it. Pain is doing it for the fun of it. I strategize differently. I do it according to what territories I need to take over. Pain does it just cause he loves to do it.”

 

AKON ON OBAMA, MIJAC AND MORE December 1, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:37 am
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Singer-producer Akon sat down with People magazine recently to promote his upcoming album, “Freedom,” due tomorrow (Dec. 2), and also touch on his recent collaborations with Michael Jackson and his thoughts about President-elect Barack Obama.      

You did some work with Michael Jackson earlier in the year with 25th Anniversary of Thriller. How did you riff off each other musically?

Akon: The collaboration was incredible. From the first moment we actually met each other face-to-face it seemed like we had know each other for years. I was always a big fan, I knew everything about him. It was just astonishing to me that he knew a lot about me, and he was a fan of me as well. We clicked instantly.

What surprised you the most about him?

Akon: How humble and how smart he was. Sometimes you get a certain perception from how the media portrays him, but [working with him] was completely opposite. An artist of that caliber and as big as he is, you would think he would have certain qualities that you probably wouldn’t like, such as being very arrogant or stuck up. With him, it was like he had never put out a record before – he still had that hunger.

Spin reported that you, T-Pain, Nelly and Pharell united to form a supergroup. Is that true?

Akon: This is something that we wish we could do. If it happens, that’s great for the music industry because we’re trying to bring fun back. Whether it can happen realistically, without politics getting in the middle of it, is the question. If it were up to us, the artists, it would have been done already.

Outside of music, what else have you been pursuing?

Akon: Outside of music, I’ve been doing a lot of the label exec thing [at] Kon Live Distribution. The clothing line, Konvict Clothing, is urban streetwear. Then we have Aliaune, which is the more upscale corporate look. Then there’s the Konfidence Foundation where we’re giving back to Africa, creating a better environment for the children of Africa.

Which celebrity would make a good president and why?

Akon: Celebrity? Obama! He’s the biggest celebrity I know. He’s gonna make an incredible president.