After a couple years off from the music scene, Senegalese singer-songwriter Akon hits the club on his fourth album, Stadium (formerly titled Akonic). Devyne Stephens, vice president of Akon’s Konvict Muzik imprint and credited with discovering the entertainer, introduced the album at the exclusive MPD club located in New York City’s Meatpacking District, where patrons including Shontelle, Maino, DJ Enuff, and Universal Motown president Sylvia Rhone sipped complementary cocktails and grooved to the Euro-tinged sounds of the new offering. Akon made a guest appearance only near the end of the event, hopping on the mic to thank everyone for coming.
Rap-Up.com was invited to get a sneak peek of the dance floor-tailored album, with only six tracks from the LP booming through the sound system. Check below to see what you can expect when the project drops November 22.
1. “Give It to ‘Em”
An ominous chorus makes way for rapid handclaps and epic instrumentation on this heavily Auto-Tuned track. Akon robotically coos “na na na” on the chorus as a gruff male chants the song’s title. “200 percent, I’m on my job,” Akon sings on the fast-paced jam.
2. “Time Is Money” featuring Big Meech
Black Mafia member Big Meech, popularized on Rick Ross’ anthem “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast),” introduces this Timbaland-esque jam with a stern speech on how you’ve only got “time or money.” Soon, double-time snares kick in on the bass-heavy joint, where Akon plays with a fast delivery against a slow-rolling rhythm. “I’m on my grind, money on my mind,” he sings.
3. “Be Me”
Stadium hits its dance floor stride on this tune, where Akon lays out the difficulties that come with being a superstar over effervescent percussion. “Know what it’s like to be me,” he yearns on the chorus as drums rattle beneath his deadpan vocals.
4. “Drop Down Low”
The Konvict boss flips the switch to Euro-house music on this aerobically-paced tune. Over snapping handclaps and sliding synthesizers, Akon commands the listener to “break it on down” on the brooding tune.
Akon’s first single, “Angel” is a fast-paced romp that fits in nicely with the other house-friendly tracks on the album. “Way above the clouds in the sky singin’,” croons the performer. A surefire club banger.
6. “Hold You”
The dance party continues on this gradually building song, with Akon singing in a lower tenor as the track grows into a ’90s-influenced thumper. The hitmaker asks his lady to take his hand after realizing he’s unable to shake off his girl’s spell. Unapologetically fervent, “Hold You” epitomizes the athletic, club-geared tone of the album.
–Steven J. Horowitz
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