It’s been a while since Akon was at the forefront of hip-hop radio, but he still has plenty of stories to tell from his glory days making hits like “I Wanna Love You,” “Lonely,” and “Smack That” with Eminem. He stopped by Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning show to share a few and landed on a pretty funny tale involving his “Smack That” collaborator, who Akon says kept some pretty unusual hours — that is, for a musician. For anyone else, Eminem’s habits will sound pretty familiar.
“He comes in at 9 AM every day to the studio, takes his lunch break at 1 PM, and is out of there by 5 PM. It’s like a schedule. I did not expect that from him. The first day I come, I come around 6 PM. I get to the studio, they said, ‘Em just left! He said, ‘I am out of here!’ I said, ‘I just got to the studio, you coming back here?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll be back there at 9 AM.
I was like, ‘You joking right?’ But he was like, ‘I’ll see you at 9 AM.’ So I get there at 9 and he shows up exactly on time. Plays some beats, we vibing, Em’s like, ‘Yo, I am about to go out for lunch.’ He goes, takes his lunch, after an hour, comes back. I play him the record, play him the chorus. He is like, ‘Oh, this is it!’
He goes into his verse. 5 PM comes. He’s halfway in. He’s like, ‘Alright bro, I’ll see you tomorrow.’ At this point, I’m like ‘Yo, this is crazy! But then Em said, ‘I just like to be here. I treat it like real job. I don’t make it no more than what it’s supposed to be. I don’t let it stress me out, stay longer than I have to. I got a family, I got a daughter. I want to make time.’
I was like, ‘Damn, he’s right. Some days, I’m in the studio three, four days. I do not come out. Don’t see my kids, don’t call my wife, none of that. I am sitting here like, [Em’s way] makes a lot of sense. Ain’t nothing gon’ change between today and tomorrow.”
Akon says his outlook was changed for the better after that and he adopted the mindframe of treating the studio like a job. So while stories about Dreamville’s legendary “rap camp” for Revenge Of The Dreamers III may captivate the public’s imagination, it’s worth remembering that one of the best to ever do it keeps things in perspective.