Akon (Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor. He has been characterizing the hip-hop music industry since his debut in the 00’s. Here, MusicSnake Magazine put together a list of 9 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Akon.

Number One: Akon – The Dropout

Akon is one of many celebrities who have become a role model for dropouts, proving with his success that formal education is not the only indicator of intelligence. He attended Clark Atlanta University for a single semester before leaving to pursue his dreams.

Number Two: Drug, Theft, and Robbery Charges

Rumor has it that Akon spent a sentence of 3 years in prison for drug, theft, and robbery charges, although many still claim to this day that the jail time was merely an illusion created for the sake of his lyrics. However, official statements record that he was put on probation for possession of a firearm in ’98, and was arrested a handful of other times for various charges.

Number Three: Muslim Roots

The artist prides himself in being a very dedicated religious man and refrains from use of alcohol and drugs due to his Muslim roots. He is even rumored to partake in polygamy, claiming to have a total of three unidentified wives. Regardless of the sources of his children, Akon is said to be a wonderful father to them.

Number Four: Making a Name

Akon’s renowned career began when fellow artist Lil Zane introduced him to the president of Upfront Megatainment studios, Devyne Stevens. The young rapper made quite an impression on the businessman, who worked tirelessly to distribute his music stylings.

As the artist began attracting the attention of the media, he also attracted the adoration of fellow artists. In his ’06 album, Konvicted, Aliaune created tracks in collaboration with renowned stars such as Eminem and Snoop Dogg. He was also very close with Savage and Young Jeezy, creating tracks with them as well.

Number Five: Making Hits

The rapper became an instant success with SRC Records, beginning with the popularity of his initial album, Trouble, in ’04. Akon made the top charts of music in record time, going double-platinum with sales of over $3M in the US alone.

Number Six: Charity

Of all of the descriptions that he might fit, selfish is not one of them. The rapper invests a large portion of profits in his own charity, called the Konfidence Foundation. This organization is primarily known for sending educational tools, health services and supplies, and recreation facilities for children in need in Africa.

Number Seven: Other Investments

In addition to funding his charity, the rapper has also invested in a diamond mine located in Africa. He has received a lot of criticism for this decision, to which he responds that he doesn’t believe diamond conflict exists.

Number Eight: The Real Trouble

The media lashed out relentlessly as the artist encountered some trouble in Trinidad and Tobago. While performing on stage, he took part in a very dirty dancing display with an underage teenager. Turns out that it wasn’t safe to assume that the age requirement for admission was reliable. In response to the incident, Akon moved forward with the creation of one of his biggest hits to date Sorry, Blame it on Me.

Number Nine: A Home Away from Home

When the rapper was questioned about his experiences in prison, Akon gave a rather startling response. The artist claimed that after only about 6 months in the facility, it began to feel like home to him. Seconds later, he revealed that he might need to make some changes in his life.

Featured: MusicSnake feat. Beta – No One Loved Me