Dogged by allegations from the The
Smoking Gun that his criminal background is fabricated, superstar singer Akon has decided to come clean regarding the accusations
In an interview with Access Atlanta, the singer clarified
his previous statements that he was incarcerated for three years.
"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 explained. "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."
According to the multi-talented artist, his previous
statements of doing a three year bid in prison
represented the accumulation of all of his run-ins with the law, not one
"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
For Akon, the most important
aspect of his story is that his persona was a vehicle for him to inspire those
who are and have been incarcerated to turn their lives around through hard work
and personal accountability.
"And to give those people who I met behind bars who
were so talented. Locked Up was like an anthem to them, before it was a hit
record," Akon adds. "I'm not trying to
glorify convicts and jail life and gangsters."
Akon's statements come as he
celebrates the December 2 release of Freedom, his third studio album. The LP
features appearances from Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Wyclef Jean, and Kardinal Offishall.