Throughout his career, Akon has worn many hats. He’s been a singer, a producer, a label head, and even recently he signed off on his own city in Senegal. The musician has worked with many big-name artists, but he’s also passed up on a few. One of the biggest musicians he missed out on is Drake, for reasons he recently tried to explain.
In an interview with VladTV, Akon discussed passing up on signing Drake at the beginning of the rapper’s career. According to Akon, Drake’s demo sounded to him too much like Eminem:
“Kardinal Offishall brought me back to him in 2005, I think it was. It was right before the ‘Best I Ever Had’ blew up. Because at the time it was more mixtape-ish. At the time, believe it or not, Drake sounded more like Eminem. With that demo that I heard, he sounded more like Em. That’s every artist developing. You can see the different in that demo and ‘Best I Ever Had.’ It was completely different. ‘Best I Ever Had’ was when everybody was after him. At that time, he hadn’t quite signed, he was negociating with everybody. It was this huge bidding war. And that’s when Kardi was like n****, I told you this n**** was going to be the sh*t. I said, ‘Why don’t you reach out?’ He said, ‘I can, but the lowest bid right now is a million.’ I said, ‘Sh*t, I ain’t got a million dollars.’”
Akon continued: “Out of all the artists today, to me, [Drake] is worth every single f*cking penny. Every single penny. That motherf*cker’s a genius, bro. It’s revolutionary what he’s done.”
Watch Akon talk about nearly signing Drake on VladTV above, around the 2:30-minute mark.