During an interview with VladTV, Akon admitted he passed on a younger Drake pre-So Far Gone days. As Akon explained, Drake was brought to his attention by Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishal who gave him the star’s demo work, but upon hearing his music, he didn’t believe Drake has his own sound.
He is in the process of building a futuristic, technologically advanced city, Akon City, in Senegal, which he has already gotten the land and license for. He has also brought electricity to people in Africa via his for-profit initiative Akon Lighting Africa which promotes sustainability rather than charity.
“It’s definitely not a charity,” Akon once told Forbes. “It is a for-profit company. The way I would categorize it, really, is just social entrepreneurship. We do our business in Africa that’s not [just] to help people, but empower them to make their money in the process.”
“We feel like charity just doesn’t work with Africa and I don’t think it works anywhere in the world,” he went on. “If you’re not empowering people or giving them jobs…you’re wasting your time, you’re wasting people’s valuable money. They’re going to spend it and put their hand right back out and be in the same position in the following week or month or year.”