posted November 23, 2006 12:40:28 AM CST | 77 comments

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Once in a while, we come across a true artist in this business that can excel in more than one field. Some performers may have the ability to rap, but not sing; or they might be able to sing, but not necessarily make you dance. That's a special talent that so few possess. As we've all come to realize within the past two years such a gift hasn't eluded Akon.

Ever since the release of his prisoners' anthem, "Locked Up," which also featured Styles P back in 2004, it was easy to make the assumption of him being the whole package. How many artists can sing about something so dark and dismal like going to jail, and give it the same effect as your average club banger? Not too many, but so far he's certainly leading the pack in that department.

Akon has often been referred to as the modern-day Nate Dogg. The big difference between the two is that Akon is a creator with him being a producer as well. Instead of just jumping on tracks already laid out, the roles are reversed, where it's the rapper who jumps on his production.

History has shown us that usually sophomore albums are a recipe for disaster; but with Konvicted, Akon has managed to avoid this fate. Akon doesn't have the strongest singing voice, but that's quickly forgotten with his power to invent infectious hooks that you're caught singing without even noticing. On "Mama Africa," the native son of Senegal pays homage to his homeland over a reggae-infused track; using Africa as an acronym, giving each letter a meaning.

Yonkers' favorite convict, Styles P gets another invite and joins in on "Blown Away." The chemistry between them hasn't diminished at all, with the two still rebounding off each other perfectly. Mostly known for his radio-friendly sing-a-longs, Akon displays a deeper side on "Never Took The Time" when he reminisces of a lost love.

With only three guest spots on the album, Akon shows why he's one of the most sought-after collaborators in the game. Without needing a surplus of artists to contribute to his project; he makes it very visible why artists need his assistance. And with the overall skill displayed on Konvicted, Akon should be in high demand for a long time to come.

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