Akon, the top-selling ringtone artist of all time, is building a futuristic city in Senegal that will trade exclusively in Akoin: a cryptocurrency named after himself. If you have been away from the news for a while, yes, this is what things are like now. I should mention that the city will be based on Wakanda, the fictional setting of Marvel’s Black Panther movie.
Musos often claim that artists lack ambition these days. It is a charge that is hard to make stick with Akon, although it is true that he never put it in his songs. But it’s the notes he’s not playing, man! Akon once claimed blood diamonds do not exist, and he would know, because he owns a diamond mine in South Africa. He owns a diamond mine. He also stated his ambition to run for president with Mark Zuckerberg as his running mate. And he claimed to be developing a reality TV show called My Brother’s Keeper, in which Akon’s two brothers would wander around Atlanta pretending to be him, picking up girls and free dinners. You snort, but if it were on at Tate Modern, you would call it genius.
I am not sure how much follow-through he has. My Brother’s Keeper has been kept on ice for years. The rapper’s frequent claim to have served three years for car theft was reported to be inaccurate (hip-hop being a backwards world where you get outed for not going to jail). He has now admitted that blood diamonds do exist. But Akon Crypto City could be the one that sticks. It is already in development, the Senegalese president having gifted the rapper 2,000 acres (akres?) of land five minutes from the international airport.
No word yet on the quantity of vibranium deposits there, but I suppose there wouldn’t be. Keep your claws crossed. From little Akons, great trees grow.