Freedom (Universal)

Rating: NN

A streetwise hustler who became a mega-successful recording artist and in-demand hook singer, Akon is now finding that the chart-topping formula that worked so well for him as an underdog ex-con might no longer apply to his new role as a wealthy entrepreneur at the top of his game.

Somehow, fond recollections of the bad old days in the ghetto with fellow superstar Wyclef Jean just don’t have the same resonance and uplifting power as previous songs that came from a place of near-defeat and unfulfilled aspirations. And bragging about all his money isn’t working.

If he can’t retrofit the old concept to his new status, he’ll need to devise a whole new one – which makes his proposed country makeover a lot more plausible.

Top Track: I’m So Paid

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